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Monday, June 17, 2024

Yellow Kites take music to new heights

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London native Erina Ludwig grew up hearing her family sing hymns, pop songs and traditional Ugandan music throughout their home. Though none of the adults in her family pursued music professionally, they encouraged Erina to hone her craft and even signed Erina up for violin lessons at age 11. At age 21, she started to take music seriously and taught herself to play guitar.

While on a solo trip around the world, Erina found herself at a Fourth of July barbecue in America; there, she met a man named Kendall, who would become her partner in both music and life. Kendall got his first guitar as a child and developed a love of music at a young age. The pair felt an instant connection. 

After years of keeping their long-distance love alive via emails, instant messaging and Skype, Erina moved to the United States, and the pair decided to get married.

As artists, they meld together their own unique musical tastes inspired by the music of America, Ireland and East Africa to create something truly unique. The Yellow Kites have performed in New York, London, Rome, Pohang and South Korea. They call Indianapolis home and often play their lyrical folk music at venues around the city.

“We like to think of ourselves as a modern June and Johnny Cash Carter. We draw on folk music from a variety of traditions like bluegrass and East African folk,” said Kendall.

“The Civil Wars are some of our favorites,” Erina added when mentioning other inspirational dynamic duos. “I love their simplicity and power and the absolute honesty in their lyrics. I’d say, yes, our sound is deeply rooted in folk of all kinds. Our sound has got elements of indie rock, country, soul and a whole lot of folk.”

The Ludwigs feel marriage has helped their musical careers, because they can use the spare moments they find between work and parenting to be creative.

“We have quite different musical influences and tastes, so that means we collide sometimes in what we’re trying to create, but it can also mean we make something completely new that hasn’t been heard before. Being married means we’re totally free to be honest and open and take risks, knowing that this person who loves you with vows has got you,” said Erina.

Kendall says that, overall, they make music to express the human condition.

“Our music is about the human condition in general. It’s about the connectedness in people. It’s like if people come in and they’re in a good mood and they’re happy and we play a song that’s upbeat, it’s like we’re celebrating that happiness with them, even though we might not know the source of it. And likewise, if someone was sad or down and we play a song that attempts to capture that emotion, then it’s like we’re saying, ‘We get it, and we’re in this with you.’”

Erina agrees: “I hope people will know that no matter where they are, they aren’t alone; especially in these times, music might be the one way to show each other that we’re in this together and all of our experiences, stories and emotions are valid.”

The Yellow Kites will be performing at New Day Craft in Fountain Square on Friday, March 17, and at Fountain Square Brewery on June 16. For more information on The Yellow Kites, visit theyellowkites.wordpress.com. 

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