K Mak is an interesting name for a Cello player. In fact it may be almost too informal for a Cello player if formality was K Mak’s style. Luckily it isn’t. Fun, bright and breezy is K Mak’s style. Rather than going the typical classical route, K Mak has created a unique classical pop fusion, which conjures up memories of artists like Kate Bush and Toni Basil.
“Toni Basil – I had to look her up!” Says K Mak. “Glad I did – thank you.
As for the fusion, it was born when I went to do some post-grad study in cello, but got distracted by the production and composition subjects. I think some strong feelings I had at the time needed and outlet and I guess they got one!”
YOU’VE PERFORMED IN SOME INTERESTING PLACES, WITH SOME INTERESTING PEOPLE, NAME SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITES?
“Archie Roach! At the Woodford Closing Ceremony. Also, James Cruickshank from the Cruel Sea. He’s no longer with us but his music blows me away. Check it out.
I also LOVE playing in my string quartet, Angel Strings.”
AS WELL AS WRITING FOR YOURSELF, YOU’VE ALSO WRITTEN FOR OTHER PEOPLE. IS IT HARD SOMETIMES TO LET GO OF SOMETHING YOU’VE WORKED ON, IF YOUR VISUALISATION OF IT IS DIFFERENT TO HOW THEY WANT TO PERFORM OR USE IT?
Sort of. I get that it’s their baby – usually! I know that sometimes I don’t see their perspective until down the track. So I try not to worry too much if I don’t feel on the same page. That’s now. It’s taken me a little while. There are definitely times I feel frustrated and so, I’m sure, do they – but I learn so much from working with other people: musically, professionally and personally, that it’s all super worth while. It’s also surprising how often I actually don’t even end up hearing the final product!
CAN YOU SHARE ANY AMUSING ANECDOTES FROM YOUR JOURNEY SO FAR?
I can. Playing for Kanye West when he supported U2 on their 2007 Australian tour. An all girl string section was to be had. Most of the day was spent on hair and make up with about twenty minutes of rehearsing. I got a bit girlied out so stepped outside for a bit and ended up chatting to one of the roadies. When I returned to the dressing room twenty minutes later the girls were all hyped up. ‘Kathrynnnn!’ they squealed ‘You missed Bono! He was in heeeeere! And he was soooo cool!’ ‘Oh yeah’, I feigned nonchalance. ‘The roadie was cool too!’
ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ADD?
Single launch. I’m putting together what I think will be a really interesting show at the Brisbane Powerhouse on Sunday the 5th November. My band: cello, violin, drums, keys, voice and laptop, will be on at 4.30pm, with Julia Rose playing at 3.30pm. We’ll be on the Turbine Platform. And it’s free!