"[Koi] creates music that feels primal and futuristic at the same time; hauntingly beautiful, visceral, enchanting… she’s using her voice as an instrument in powerful and provocative ways, intricately overlaying ambient synths and sequenced beats to build toward some fantastic, nightmarish opera of sorts."     - Current Magazine

 

Alex Koi

Photo by Ottolab, 2017. 

is a musician, composer, improviser, music educator, and vocalist. 

She developed a taste for improvisation and composition around age eleven while recording sounds, song, screams, and poetry in the quiet quarters of her parents' linen closet. The artistry of her multiple projects and interdisciplinary collaborations has been propelling her as an innovative force in the Detroit creative music scene and beyond. 

Koi's vocal and compositional style encompasses a versatility to be reckoned with. From straight-ahead jazz to the avant-garde, experimental electronic to operatic, industrial to punk, her influences ring just as organically and significantly from one sonic world to the next. 

Having grown up in Pittsburgh, Koi moved to Ann Arbor in 2011 where she completed an undergraduate degree in jazz and voice from the University of Michigan four years later. She now lives in Detroit, Michigan, where she performs, composes, and teaches music. 

 

The projects:

Alex Koi, eponymous project

This project incorporates Koi as primary songwriter with the compositional enhancements of bassist, Joe Fee, and percussionist, Ian Gold. After a year hiatus, this group is coming back together with new members, material, and performances. 

<find the Exits.

<find the Exits., is grounded in improvisatory idea and navigates self-referentialism, consciousness, gender, and nature.  Utilizing looping methods, distortions, and alternative mediums, she creates a hypnotic atmosphere that breathes with its audience, communicating to the ear and to the body with both heavy, pulsating vibrations and tinkling considerations.  Notable travels of <find the Exits. have included a performance at the 2013 International Society for Improvised Music's New York City Conference, a seating as Guest Artist at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in March 2016, and a performance at the 2016 Detroit Free Arts Music Festival. 

saajtak

saajtak is a Detroit-based avant-rock quartet. Channeling the textural experimentalism of electronic music, the drive and energy of punk rock, the catharsis of tragic opera, and the urgency of polymetric grooves, they create a ritualistic sonic experience. Saajtak has created a repertoire of compositions that range from complex epic forms to short frenetic noise pieces. The quartet is constantly developing sonic environments that defy genre and entrance listeners. Saajtak was formed in late 2014 by vocalist  Alex Koi, electronic artist Simon Alexander-Adams, and drummer Jon Taylor, and later joined by bassist Ben Willis. Each member is an avid composer, improviser, and performer, with shared affinity for experimental music and sound art. Saajtak merges multiple musical streams to form a unique collective vision. Individually, the members of Saajtak have performed with My Brightest Diamond, Brian Ritchie of the Violent Femmes, Wadada Leo Smith, Dave Liebman, Karl Berger, Ingrid Sertso, Michael Formanek, Jaribu Shahid, the members of Wolf Eyes, and more. The band has shared bills with Xiu Xiu, Laurie Amat, Alec Redfearn and the Eyesores, amongst other boundary-shattering artists. saajtak's debut EP Spokes was released March 2017. 

[with dancers]

Koi frequently collaborates with movement artists. The exhibition at which her site-specific collaboration with LaMarre and Dancers took place was included in the highly esteemed art magazine Hyperallergic's "Best of 2015: Top 10 Exhibitions Across the United States".  Additional performances with dancers have included those at The Detroit Institute of Arts and at Detroit's Jam Handy during the 2016 AUNTS x Detroit event. Currently, she is working on live scoring a dance film by Erin Wilson of ArtPeers.  

Jazz Project

Featuring a rotating cast of some of Detroit's finest jazz musicians. Performs jazz standards and more. 

Polyfold

Koi is a member of Polyfold, a collective of musical artists who have joined together to develop, and present creative works. Founded in Detroit, Polyfold produces concerts and recordings, hosts outreach events and educational workshops, and fosters creative community in Detroit and beyond. Members include Stephen BoegeholdMatthew Daher, Marcus ElliotIan FinkelsteinMolly JonesAlex LevineMichael MalisBen Rolston, Jake Shadik, Rafael StatinJon TaylorGlenn TuckerAlex WhiteYuma UesakaMatthew SetzlerMaría Elena, and Sasha Kashperko