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Kai Matthews
Kai Matthews
Kai Matthews, of C Sharp Orchestra, is a German-born, American composer and musician currently living and studying philosophy of language, mind and design in Montréal.

Kai's music can't easily be catagorized by genre, which isn't surprising given his diverse musical background. As a child, Kai was trained in classical piano. By high school, Kai was playing psychedelic blues, as well as being heavily influenced by his music teacher, who owned one of the first Moog synthesziers and exposed Kai to electronic music and the works of Varese, Stockhausen, Subotnick and Buchla (whom Kai later met).

Kai went on to do a degree in classical composition at Berklee College. While studying at Berklee, Kai was exposed to jazz. During the 80's, Kai played in post-New-Wave bands.

All of this background, along with a love and study of North Indian classical music and Kai's naturally exploratory nature, creates the multi-layered elements that can be heard in Kai's compositions.

Kai bases his music these days on Raga Theory - a melodic and rhythmic tradition. The melody is always related to a fixed root pitch. Kai uses a C Sharp as his root, hence the name, C Sharp Orchestra. Kai plays synthesizer and fretless guitar. He tunes his guitar in a nonstandard method with the lowest C sharp being a minor third below the low E of standard tunings. He also uses just intonation and the harmonics of the C sharps for tuning. Kai uses many methods, other than chording, to create movement in his playing. When he does use chords, they are derived from the "thaat" scale of raga. See the video of Kai playing his Godin fretless for a demonstration of the Raga style. Some of Kai's compositions can be found on MySpace.

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