One of experimental music’s most exciting new talents on the lecture couch at the 2013 Red Bull Music Academy in New York. Classical and not-so-classical-at-all: Julia Holter’s music lies at a crossroads similar to the one where artists like Arthur Russell or Laurie Anderson reside. It’s the sound of an artist who has clearly been trained—in this case at Cal Arts with Michael Pisaro—and one that has no problem forgetting everything previously learned, if needed. Holter’s songwriting stems from a mythological reverence of that which is incomprehensibly beautiful. Her 2007 EP Eating the Stars was a first attempt at musically transcribing this feeling, and Holter’s 2011 debut album Tragedy embraced similar strains of shimmer. But it was on 2012’s Ekstasis where everything came together. Critically beloved, it’s the culmination of her young career, a record whose motivating character was best described by Holter herself: Ekstasis reflects, she says, a “desire to get outside of my body and find what I can’t define.”
For more lectures from the 2013 Red Bull Music Academy in New York, visit redbullmusicacademy.com/lectures
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