interview with Sydney Francis

About

Performing was always a natural thing for Kirana Peyton. She spent her tween years playing in the family bluegrass band in Indiana and from there, caught the proverbial bug after making her first record, “Indiana Grass, It’s Blue”.

The next two decades were spent exploring folk, rock, experimental jam and electronic to cultivate the multi-dimensional quality of her sound.

“Being dogmatic about music can really inhibit you,” she said. “To me, the beauty of music is its versatility. And so, I tend to be drawn to many different musical genres. I love to explore and am so inspired by others who follow their curiosity."

How do you identify yourself?

Musician mainly. I love playing with music and art. I’m not the type of person who craves the center of attention but I love to play music so, being a part of something with others gives me a lot of pleasure. Lately I've been interested in electronic music, it can have an anonymous quality and there are infinite musical areas to explore. Relay Loom [her solo electronic project] is where I can experiment with sound and rhythm as a loner and then I'm really excited about playing with an evocative band called Old Century Blood.

 

Teaching Philosophy

I enjoy teaching music one on one. This allows me to develop curriculum specific to each student's needs and interests. I also focus on cultivating an appreciation of the learning process. Learning is like going on a treasure hunt. Each bit of knowledge you discover, reveals deeper and deeper levels of understanding. Learning how to read, play, listen and find music can be deeply rewarding. I believe discovery based learning encourages an open mind about music, art and life.

Education

I was classically trained at Sonoma State University and graduated with a B.A. in Music Education. While I was there, I received a scholarship for Indian singing. Before attending the university I was quite influenced by Indian classical music and the harmonium, which I began to incorporate in the music I was performing. In the ensembles and projects I've been involved with I've played bass, keys, guitar, percussion, harmonium and violin but mostly consider myself a vocalist. The music covered a wide variety of genres; experimental electronic, jazz, classical Indian, symphonic, choral, bluegrass, old time folk music,  “freak” folk, rock and improvisation.

On performing

“It feels like a suspended moment. What I love is that engaged presence."