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New Look, New Sound For KERA, KXT and Art&Seek

by Anne Bothwell 25 Jan 2016 6:30 AM

Thanks to some talented North Texas musicians.

Michael Palma arranged the jazz version of KERA's new mnemonic.

You might notice things look and sound a little different today around KERA. KERA FM, KXT and KERA TV all  have new logos. And they aren’t just graphic.

mne·mon·ic: a device such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something.

We have a new signature sound, called a mnemonic, and it has been modified to reflect the personalities of each KERA station.

KERA 90.1 FM

KERA News:

KXT Live Sessions:

North Texas singer and pianist Kaela Sinclair composed a track called “Vincent and Theo” from which the six-note signature was created.



Kaela Sinclair Interview

Kaela Sinclair.

“There’s an element of seriousness to it,” says Sinclair, of the mnemonic and the track she composed. “It’s not fluff, just like KERA’s not fluff. I hope it’s engaging and  intelligent sounding. But I hope that it’s also accessible. I hope the audience that listens to KERA will also enjoy that sort of sound in the music.”

Nick Seeley is the music supervisor and executive producer of the station’s mnemonic project. Seeley decided that the KERA project should be community-driven, featuring multiple artists, not just his own work. “That changed my entire approach to the project, from simply coming up with music beds for people to talk over into actually making this a collage of different sounds from local artists.”

KERA chose Sinclair’s mnemonic from 36 different possibilities composed by the artists Seeley selected. (Seeley himself contributed 10, and Sinclair submitted four.)

Then, musicians composed new pieces incorporating the mnemonic.  “I told them, you can kick off with it once, and never come back to it, or make it your melodic motif,” says Seeley.  “It was cool because everybody approached it really differently. Daniel Hart hit the note and never came back to it. Aaron Kelley kicked it off and closed with it. There’s a big variety in the way it was integrated.”

Seeley also happens to be the composer of  the new theme for the Art&Seek calendar on KERA FM. It’s called “Watercolors” and we’re using the soul version.

All told there are 17 pieces of music that include the mnemonic.

Here’s a version of “Vincent and Theo” that will become familiar on KERA Television. Juan Chaves arranged and conducted the string quartet: Veronica Gan, 1st violin; Elizabeth Elsner, 2nd violin; Claire Ross, viola, and Joseph Kulpers, cello.

Juan Chaves conducting

Juan Chaves conducting the string quartet version of “Vincent and Theo.”

And there’s a jazz version too, arranged by Michael Palma and performed by the Michael Palma New Quartet (Palma’s on piano; Jeremy Sinclair, trumpet; Jackie Whitmill Jr., drums and Young Heo, upright bass.)

A few more we like:

“Paper Birds” by Daniel Hart.

“Little B” by Taylor Gordon.

“This Muddy Road” by Aaron Kelley.

Nick Seeley and Aaron in Studio

Nick Seeley (left) and Aaron Kelley in the studio.