Sufi Journal: Jessika Kenney: Singing from the Heart
“Since experiencing Persian Avaz for the first time, listening to the great Ostad Mohammad Reza Shajarian’s CD BIDAD, Jessika Kenney has become an accomplished singer of this Persian style of singing, and one of the few non-Iranians to do so. She has approached her study of the Persian language and Sufi culture – crucial to the understanding of many classical poems that make up the majority of the lyrical repertoire of Avaz – with as much enthusiasm as her singing practice.” More:

The Wire: Exclusive Interview Transcripts: Jessika Kenney
Part of a series of exclusive interviews with collaborators and members of Sunn O)) by Joseph Stannard
WIRE: You've worked not only with Sunn O))) and Asva, but also with US Black Metal outfit Wolves In The Throne Room. Would you say that you had a special affinity for this kind of densely textured, heavy music?
Jessika Kenney: Well, I'm not really interested in the heaviness of it, that's not really how I think of it, but I'm very interested in the full spectrum experience of sound, and a lot of my experience has been with tuned metal and percussion, so I'm really interested in non-linear relationships of tonalities and harmonic relationships. So I feel like what Sunn O))) is doing is very inspiring and beautiful in those kind of non-linear, harmonic relationships. I don't think of it as specifically Sunn O))), but just the experience of a loud, distorted guitar [laughs]. I mean, I can remember many shows I've gone to, where I'd be in the audience just singing along with the feedback, especially the upper partials. Sometimes I would just do that and create different kinds of beating patterns. That's what I was really having a good time with in Asva as well. It's more of a physical experience of sound. More:


the face of the earth
“Work of delicate beauty, as pristine as the surface of a lake at dawn on a summer's morning.” The Quietus
“Kenney has long been a student of Gamelan and Persian song, having studied in Indonesia and under famed singer and ney flute player Hossein Omouni. Her strong vocals display a deep understanding of the nature and history of this music, tracing beyond her and Kang’s arrangements towards the foundations of what they are performing.” Dusted Reviews

“Kang and Kenney gave a performance that will go down in Genius history. It was a Persian song that filled the whole body of the Moore with incantations of breath and sound, and Kang and Kenney performed it unamplified and unlit, wandering along the aisles of the theater. It felt both intimate and otherworldly, probably because this world so often fails to be intimate. These two musicians never fail to be intimate.” the Stranger