Kid Koala, a genre-defying artist
After giving a spectacular performance of his show Nufonia Must Fall two years ago, Kid Koala returns to Place des Arts in November 2019 to launch his latest creation, The Storyville Mosquito.
While it’s true that Kid Koala first made a name for himself nearly two decades ago as a turntablist, this multidisciplinary artist could hardly be called “just a DJ.” In addition to his musical albums, Eric San has composed scores for film and video game, written a graphic novel and dabbled in puppeteering and theatre—to name just a few of his achievements.
Kid Koala began his career as a DJ in 2000. His first album, titled Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, was released through Ninja Tune, an English record label with a reputation for signing diverse yet supremely talented acts. He’s opened for myriad artists, including Radiohead, the Arcade Fire, the Beastie Boys and Björk, and has collaborated on musical projects with the Gorillaz, Deltron 300 and The Slew.
The release of his 2017 album Music To Draw To–Satellite marked an introspective turn in his musical journey. The second album in this contemplative series, Io, was released in January 2019.
Music for the eyes
Since his earliest days, Kid Koala has sought to engage his audience through innovative performances. “I couldn’t think of anything more boring than watching a man slowly turn a knob,” he explained in an interview with the Centre Phi. He began by placing cameras above his decks, letting concert-goers watch him at work, then expanded his horizons, gradually mixing in other types of projections and interactive stage craft to his shows.
With his 2014 live show Nufonia Must Fall, Kid Koala created a truly multidisciplinary experience. The work is based on his graphic novel of the same title, published in 2003. With the help of three marionette puppeteers, a string quartet and a film production team, this singular piece was brought to life, with a performance held at Place des Arts in September 2017. The show is a technical and musical masterpiece: a marionette performance is given on stage while the score is being played live. The film team captures both the finished product and the flurry of human activity needed to make it work, projecting everything onto a screen behind them.
With The Storyville Mosquito, Kid Koala has honed his craft even further, bringing us a new story and experience. Place des Arts will be hosting the world premiere.
Guided by a sense of wonder
While Eric San casts a long shadow, and his creative adventures are enough to leave a listener stunned, his adventures have common themes: his inexhaustible capacity for wonder, his sense of professionalism, and his desire to explore new grounds, bringing his audience with him on his journey.
His next creation, The Storyville Mosquito, will be presented at the Cinquième Salle at Place des Arts in November 2019, for a dozen performances.
In three clicks
Nufonia Must Fall by Kid Koala, condensed into three minutes
The song “Fallaway” from Music To Draw To–Satellite, with vocals by Emilíana Torrini and visuals by “chemical puppeteer” Karina Bleau.
“All for You” from Music To Draw To–Io, with vocals by Trixie Whitley and visuals by Karina Bleau.