Album artwork, web images and titles by Gunnar Tchida
Listen and Download Morning Flower here
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One morning last summer, Kayla Cohen and I went on a hike in Ernest E. Debs park; my first time there, Kayla a seasoned patron. It was dry and hot morning, and we were sweating walking up a steep trail. Picking a black walnut she explained its antiseptic properties, stopping at a eucalyptus tree and collecting leaves. She paused at California Buckwheat - the plant had tight clusters of pale pink and white flowers, the leaves were brown because of the dry weather, but surviving nonetheless. A native Southern California plant, one that can flourish all year round - unchanging, unhurried and rhythmic.
Without binding itself to an era, I find Kayla’s project, Itasca, existing in a place: blooming as a wash in the desert heat, unwavering and unyielding to the elements, thriving in the hills of East Los Angeles or a New Mexico winter, standing ground and consciously existing in the space between the harshness of the wild and the paved. Her guitar playing intricate and bright, dense and piercing, it pulls the listener through the movement as much as it pushes it along. Morning Flower is a relic of Itasca’s present moment, measured while still being lush and unwilling to falter from its aim.
Kayla Cohen grew up near the Hudson River and moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 2011. Morning Flower is Itasca’s newest release - a side-step to her 2016 LP Open to Chance (Paradise of Bachelors)
All of the artwork and titles for Morning Flower are by Wyoming-based poet, artist and ecologist, Gunnar Tchida. An art school drop out, she began her studies at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design and left in her final year to complete a BS in Wildlife Biology at the University of Montana. Using poetry, sculpture, video and ephemera designed for wide circulation, her practice is both citational and confessional, melding personal disclosure with an inquiry into radical new ecologies.
Poetry collections and artist books include Road Ecology (forthcoming, Ginny Projects), Shadow of a Butterfly on My Hand in a Leather Glove (2016), Laying Down the Line (2015, Rock Bottom Press), Itch Corridor (2015) and LADYRIDER (2014). Her work has been exhibited at Kimberly-Klark Gallery (Queens), Orgy Park (Brooklyn), and Ginny Projects (London). As an avian ecologist, she has presented her original research on avian flight ontogeny to the American Ornithological Society and the Canadian Ornithological Society.
In 2015 she founded Cowgirls for Voluntary Human Extinction. Her dog’s name is Luna and her motorcycle’s name is Pony.