"When I was a child I stood in the crux of a yellow birch tree, laid my hand on the smooth, round surface left by a trimmed limb, and swore that I would be an angel. I have a difficult time explaining whom I was making this oath to, but I've tried to hold myself to that promise. As it turns out, being an angel is a lot harder than a ten-year-old kid might think.
"Like every songwriter out there, I write music because I have no other choice. When I walk, I step to the pace of music. Melodies spring from my emotions, and my thoughts are haunted by metaphors that tell me that everything in this world mirrors the world of music. There is no escape.
"Simultaneously, I am the willing slave of music, for only it can grant me liberation. Happily am I under its watchful eye, for it saves me from my solitude.
"I also have an ongoing love affair with poetry. I'm enchanted by the English language: its flexibility, its potential for vagueness and double-meanings, its rhythmic nature.... I find it incredible how languages shape the very way we perceive the world around us. To pass up the chance to explore these possibilities when writing lyrics, or anything else for that matter ... that strikes me as a crying shame, is all."
Kara McGraw’s roots are both classical & theatrical. Her local renown began during her high school years in East Montpelier, Vermont, where the capstone project of her senior year was the performance of a Civil War musical she fully scored for small orchestra and choir. In 2001, Kara won the Vermont Young Composers scholarship award for her ballad “Comic Books and Flashlights” and then went on to receive her Bachelor of Music in Music Composition from Ithaca College School of Music (2005).
Kara’s interest in the human psyche and her dedication to delivering musical narrative cannot be missed when listening to her latest album, “The Hound & The Hare.” Characteristic of the album is the leading track, “Gabriel,” wherein Kara paints the picture of a young man with great potential but lapsing confidence. The album goes on in similarly reflective spirit, exploring, analyzing, and advising such characters as “Miss Comfortable,” “Carolina,” and “Modern Man” before musically diving headfirst into her own first-person trials. Though her song style touches upon a range of genres, including pop, blues-rock, classical, folk, and lyrical piano, the songs on this album are all united by a captivating melody and an emotionally emphatic vocal delivery.
Kara continues to create works that deliver a story – sometimes in pop song format, sometimes in theatrical or contemporary classical format. Her chamber work “Tale of Tam Lin, The Elf Knight” was premiered at The Seattle Chamber Music Society’s 11th annual Winter Festival at the Benaroya Hall, nicknamed the Carnegie Hall of the Pacific Northwest. At present, Kara is composing the script and score for her largest work for the stage, yet: a musical that celebrates the triumph of compassion over prejudice and explores modern day culture clashes through the telling of a story set in the 1970’s.
Donating most of her song profits to non-profits, Kara’s great hope is for her music to inspire creativity, courage, and compassion in others.