Biographic

Short Bio

Katt Hernandez moved to Stockholm in 2010. She works with many projects and musicians in Sweden, including The Schematics, Klas Nevrin Ensemble, Daniel M Karlsson,  Yun Kan 10,  ExpEAR, Sten Sandell, David Stackenäs, Lisa-Lotte Norelius, Mats Erlandsson, Mattias Risberg, Joe Williamson, Alexander Zethsson, Julia Strzalek, Henrik Ohlson, Finn Loxbo and many others.  Katt's violin playing is focused primarily on freely improvised music, drawing a firey array of electronic-like sounds and keening melodies from her unaltered, acoustic violin. She also works extensively with microtonality, drawn from a study of a mixture of sources, including traditional folk and sacred musics of the Middle East, Turkey, and Eastern Europe, variated odd-ball old Americana, work with modular synthesizers and the Maneri/Sims 72 pitch system. Playing with as wide and unexpected a variety of other performers as possible is tantamount to her sonic and spiritual pursuits.

In 2014 she earned a Masters degree in Electroacoustic Composition from Kung. Musikhögskolan (the Royal Music Academy of Sweden), and is now pursuing a Phd in Music at Lund University.Katt worked as a producer for four years, siting on the board of F.R.I.M., working as an assistant producer at Fylkingen and working on the Sound of Stockholm festival.  She is also a 13 year veteran of the new, improvised and experimental music scenes in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York, both as a performer and an organizer. She has performed and recorded with a vast array of musicians, dancers, visual artists, film makers and performance artists in venues ranging from underground urban art spaces to ivy league concert halls.

Reviews

"Another Beantown expat is improvising violinist Katt Hernandez, whose debut solo LP Unlovely (no label) is seriously boss. A student of Joe Maneri, Katt plays in a style that flies through the valley separating new music and free jazz, like a hive of cunning bees. Great inventions."- Bryon Coley and Thurston Moore, Arthur No. 32 (Dec 2008)

". . . musicians everywhere are aware of her exceptional artistry, and even international writers and producers are telling us of their fortunate discovery. . .it may be overdue, but it is good to see that someone as good as Katt is finally being recognized." ~ Stu Vandermark, Cadence Magazine, Dec. 2004, pg. 133

". . .The Long Awaited Etcetera puts Hernandez squarely on the radar. . . as one of the few violinists of consequence in improvised music"~ Stanley Zappa, Bannanafish, Issue Seventeen, pg. 88

"Hernandez is a young violinist who shows the potential to develop into a major voice in experimental violin improvisation and join the ranks of Mat Maneri, Mari Kimura, Malcolm Goldstein, and Takehisa Kosugi".~ Michael A. Parker, All About Jazz, http://www.allaboutjazz.com/reviews/r0502_135.htm

"It was Hernandez that stood out in this piece, bringing an ear clearly comfortable with classical and rock approaches, but despite this grounding, at times flirting with complete choas- Eric Allen Hatch, Signal-to-noise Winter 2002/issue 24, page 55

Long Bio

Katt Hernandez moved to Stockholm in 2010. She works with many projects and musicians in Sweden, including The Schematics, Klas Nevrin Ensemble, Daniel M Karlsson,  Yun Kan 10,  ExpEAR, Sten Sandell, David Stackenäs, Lisa-Lotte Norelius, Mats Erlandsson, Mattias Risberg, Joe Williamson, Alexander Zethsson, Julia Strzalek, Henrik Olsson, Finn Loxbo, Isak Hedtjärn and many others.  Focused primarily on freely improvised music, Katt draws a firey array of electronic-like sounds and keening melodies from her unaltered, accoustic violin. She also works extensively with microtonality, drawn from a study of a mixture of sources, including traditional folk and sacred musics of the Middle East, Turkey, and Eastern Europe, various odd-ball whisps of old Americana, and the Maneri/Sims 72 note system. Playing with as wide and unexpected a variety of other performers as possible is tantamount to her sonic and spiritual pursuits.

During her first four years in Sweden, Katt was fiercely focused on producing concerts as well as playing in them. She worked as a producer at Fylkingen, sat in the board of FRIM (where she became the ordförande druign her last year there) and worked on many other concerts and festivals in Stockholm. During that time, she also earned a Masters degree in Electroacoustic music from Kungl. Musikhögskolan (The Royal Music Academy of Sweden). She is taking a break from most producing at present to focus wholly on her studies, where she began a Phd program in Fall of 2015. But she still works on the Sofiagatan 1 concert series in Stockholm, together with composers Kim Hedås and Eric Peters. The series presents a combination of electroacoustic, chamber and improvised music.

Katt's electronic music combines field recordings, modular synthesizers, string instruments, Supercollider and voice to create multi-channel work. Most of her electronic music deals with questions of space, transformation and identity in Stockholm at present, through a palette of techniques inspired by radio transmitters, spectromorphology, improvised music, cityscapes and a vast spectrum of music by a whole host of composers she finds inspiring. Her new work will introduce the organ into this group of sound and imaginative sources as well.

Katt lived in Philadelphia for three years, playing the violin, running spaces, and producing shows. She had performances with Bowerbird, Soundfield, Ars Nova, and Nicole Bindler's Dance Ensemble upon her arrival.  During her time there she also played regularly with the Balkan Dance band West Philadelphia Orchestra, toured the U.S. with Vashti Bunyan and Vetiver and sat on the Board of World Music presenting organization Crossroads Music. Katt also composed and performed music for shadow-puppet and screen print artist Erik Ruin which toured throughout the East Coast, and wplayed regularly with the Psychotic Quartet and permutations thereof- Dan Blacksberg, Evan Lipson and Michael Evans. She regularly went to Baltimore for performances and recordings with John Berndt, the Second Nature ensemble, the duo Isabel with Audrey Chen, Andy Hayleck and Catherine Pancake, and also performed regularly with many projects in New York.

Before that, Katt lived in Boston from 1997 to 2006, where she was fantastically active. There she played several hundred concerts with improvisors, musicians from many genres, dancers,video artists, film makers, visual artists and others. In addition, Katt booked well over a hundred shows, festivals, and concerts during her time in Boston. She was a crazed avatar for the Zeitgeist Gallery, where she worked on everything from publicity and shows to mischief and whimsy. She also lived in the short-lived Andrew Square art space, and performed multiple times at Pan 9, Redtail, Mobius and other spaces. She continues to seek out underground spaces for those things too strange and magnificent for commercial clubs and foundation concert halls. She studied with and later played with Joe Maneri there, who kindly let her attend his courses for four years even though she, like many others, could not afford the tuition fees at the New England Conservatory. Robert Labaree, the head of the school's ethno-musicology department, also invited her to play in the Eurasia ensemble, where she learned about and played Ottoman-era Mevlevi music. These experiences and the kindness behind them had a strong effect upon her music and life. She also worked regularly with Marc Bisson, John Voigt, Jonathan Vincent, Adam James Wilson, Arto Artinian, Joe Burgio, Walter Wright, Saul Levine, Fred Stubbs, Hans Rickheit, Jamie Mclaughlin and many, many others. Katt's last time in the USA before moving to Sweden was spent in Boston, where she played at X-Fest, in Zack Fuller's "Into the Shiny Battle" at Mobius, and with Bowed Metal and Glass ensemble. She also performed and recorded with Joe Morris, Luther Gray, Matt Samolis, Steve Norton, Mitch Ahern, Andrew Neuman and Junko Simons.

Playing music of many kinds has always been a strong part of Katt's work. She has also played music of the late Ottman empire and Whirling Dervish ceremonies with the Eurasia Ensemble. She spent some time playing old-time, vaudeville, and early jazz tunes with Matt Samolis(a.k.a. Shoe) whilst channelling the spirit of Amelia Earhart in the duo Lindy's Radio. And she also has played the mysterious incarnation of a disturbing cartoon character in the frightening music and performance art duo Dr. Selenium and Madame Margo. And she worked with Ensemble Suave and others who play early music performing Barbara Strozzi, Henry Purcell and other pre-baroque works. Before leaving for Philadelphia she participated in the Voltaic Vaudeville festival, wherein she played Solo, with butoh dancer Jennifer Hicks, and as part of the Beat Circus Vaudeville Orchestra. She also worked with several new psychadelic musicians and bands on the Language of Stone label. In fact, she plays somewhere for somebody at least weekly, come hell or high water.

Katt grew up in Ann Arbor, MI, where she met all kinds of the most remarkable people at a young age, and played her violin throughout the Detroit metro-area on a regular basis starting at the age of 14. Her first free improvisation show was at the age of 15, where she was delighted to find herself sharing the stage with Eugene Chadbourne, Frank Pahl and LaDonna Smith. She attended Community High School- a public school based on the utopic visions of the late sixties. She also spent two weeks every summer at the National Music Camp, learning about symphonic and chamber music. After attending classes as a teenager at the University of Michigan's Music School, she went there for college and studied composition, violin, electronic music, jazz, and improvisation, graduating in the end with the very first BFA in "Jazz Studies and Contemporary Improvisation" awarded by the school. Her teachers were George Balch Wilson, Ed Sarath, Even Chambers, Donald Walden, Elaine Sargous, Karin Swanson and Mike Grace. She played with a great many musicians and others there, including Only a Mother, Doctor Arwulf-Arwulf,the Creative Arts Orchestra, and the Blue Sun Quintet.