Celebrating Kayo Dot’s Choirs of the Eye

In this 20th year of Kayo Dot’s existence, the group has reconvened its original lineup of maudlin of the Well expats–Toby Driver, Greg Massi, Sam Gutterman, and Terran Olson–to perform their celebrated and timeless 2003 debut milestone of an album, ‘Choirs of the Eye’, in full at Complexity Fest 2023 next weekend.

“It’s been a flood of memories and emotions during the process of revisiting this music after 20 years with the group of guys that helped create it. After the Choirs of the Eye album cycle was finished, the lineup changed and we rarely revisited that music not only because the new instrumentations didn’t suit it, but also because Kayo Dot has made a point over the band’s career to keep exploring and discovering, deliberately not looking back.

Despite that ethic, the few times in my career when I did look back always ended up being deeply fulfilling. As time goes on, I’m occasionally hit with recollections that make me realize I may be forgetting moments of my life, both trivial and important, and that scares me. Sometimes overwhelmed with the feeling that my memory is just full and can’t hold anything else, those echoes make me wonder who I was, if that person still exists, and if the Me that exists now will soon vanish as well. A musical composition is a diary page, a trail marker that opens a window into a moment of time through the context that it provides, and relearning how to play this music and all its interlocking parts reminded me not only of the priceless moments with my friends in rehearsal, in the studio, on our first tour, but also of the years leading up to and the years leading away from this powerful turning point in my life.

Choirs of the Eye is still held up by many as my magnum opus, despite all my best efforts to supersede it. I respect that; there is undoubtedly some special unknown magic in this music. Performing it is a sacred act. Twenty years on, Complexity Fest will provide Choirs of the Eye’s largest venue of its lifetime thus far, another milestone that will contextualize all of its past and all of its future. I’m excited to see what will happen.”

– Toby Driver