KT Tunstall overcomes hearing loss to bring solo show to Fall Church State Theater

“Black Horse and Cherry” and “Suddenly I See” made it nominal. This Sunday, KT Tunstall is a female band at the State Theater in Falls Church, Virginia.

Listen to our full conversation in my podcast “Beyond Glory”.

Jason Fraley of WTOP watches KT Tunstall at the State Theater (Part 1)

“Black Horse and Cherry” and “Suddenly I See” made her a famous name.

This Sunday KT Tunstall is a women’s band State Theater in Falls Church, Virginia.

“I love performing in my solo show,” Tanstall told WTOP. “I’m just with all my crazy gadgets to make me sound like a band, even though it’s really just me on stage. … It’s very simple and very cool. This is called a loop pedal. Basically, you have a small box at your feet and two buttons. The left button records, and the right stops recording, and it plays.

Her sensitive musical prowess was recently prevented by hearing loss in one ear.

“I lost my hearing on the left side, which I did not return,” Tanstal said. “I have tinnitus and a slight hearing loss for 10 years. … One morning I woke up in a tourist bus, took the earplugs out of my ears and said, “Oh, it doesn’t matter.” … Everything sounded super tin. … It took three months and my brain and body just calibrated. ”

Her younger brother Dan was born completely deaf, received a cochlear implant at age 23.

“He can’t hear in one ear,” Tanstal said. “We are not biologically related, so it is not hereditary. … When I told this to my brother Dan, he was playing this little violin: “Poor you.” You can only hear with one ear “because to be completely deaf … don’t even compare”.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1975, she was adopted by schoolteacher Rosemary Tanstal and physics teacher David Tanstal of the University of St Andrews in Scotland. However, her first memories are of California, where her dad took a vacation to UCLA.

“It was a really interesting family cauldron,” Tanstal said. “I was definitely a black sheep when it came to music… because my parents were very learned. … They didn’t know where I and my older brother came from, we were both adopted, so they didn’t know what talents we would have. They were very sensitive to it and allowed us to try everything. “

Discovering a love of music, she began traveling in Scotland and London.

“It was very bohemian,” Tanstal said. “It was, in fact, just a super-lo-fi life when you didn’t have new clothes, didn’t go to restaurants and didn’t rest. It was just a handshake and a love of being a musician. I really loved that life. Although it was frugal and there was no harmful money, I really liked it. I felt very alive. It felt very present. “

She received a scholarship to complete her final year of high school at a “super posh” boarding school called Kent School in Connecticut and began traveling around Burlington, Vermont.

“Playing outside really teaches you that your job is to engage your audience,” Tanstal said. “I’m kind of annoyed when I see players playing outside with an amp up to 11. … You have to be good enough to get people to stop and listen.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in drama and music in 1996 from Royal Holloway, University of London, she eventually signed with the British label Relentless Records at the age of 29. The title of her debut album “Eye to the Telescope” (2004) was inspired by her father’s physics. laboratories.

“He would pick us up in the middle of the night if something astral happened,” Tanstal said. “We’re all in pajamas just going to get in the car. I remember seeing Galey’s comet in the telescope. He had the keys to the observatory, and I was 8 years old and he said, “What the hell? Are there things in heaven? … I’ve always liked that feeling. “

The album included “Black Horse and Cherry” with the refrain “Wu-hu”. She performed it live with the included guitar, tambourine and loop pedal BBC “Later … with Jules Holland” but she only had 24 hours to prepare to fill the rapper Nas.

“I had to hop in a van and go to London,” Tanstal said. “Other artists on this show were Anita Baker, Jackson Brown and The Cure! … The boss of my label said, “Play this weird horse song, Wu-hu song. … I played it and it went crazy! … The first 10,000 copies are really valuable because … they have a live recording of this show. “

The album also featured the song “Suddenly I See” in honor of punk rock pioneer Patti Smith.

“The whole song is about Photo by Robert Mapplethorpe Patty Smith is on the cover of “Horses,” Tanstal said. “I was just sitting in my basement apartment in London, listening to‘ Gloria ’and looking at the cover of this album. … Just that look of Patty’s … almost defying me with that look that said, “Who are you?” What do you bring to the table? ‘

The album received her best performer in the UK at the BRIT Awards and received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. “The Black Horse” was treated to “American Idol,” and “Suddenly I See” was featured in the movie “The Devil Wears Prada”.

She continued to develop on albums such as “Drastic Fantastic” (2007), “Tiger Suit” (2010) and “Invisible Empire / Crescent Moon” (2013), before embarking on a trilogy of albums that touch on the themes of soul, body and mind . “Kin” (2016) explored the soul, “Wax” (2018) explored the body, and the third album explores the mind later this year.

“The trilogy is similar to my own self-help book,” Tanstal said. “It was very therapeutic.”

With all this, she remains amazed by all the impressions, from the game in Times Square on New Year’s Eve to the performance at a dinner of White House reporters next month.

“It’s so cool when you have these weird songs that just take you on these adventures,” Tanstal said. “They are now taking me on an adventure. I wrote this and it no longer belongs to me and they are like Rudolph pulling a sleigh. I say, “Where are we going?”

Jason Fraley of WTOP watches KT Tunstall at the State Theater (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation in my podcast “Beyond Glory”.

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