MIA DOI TODD
Mia Doi Todd was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Trained as a classical vocalist in her adolescence and teenage years, Mia began writing songs while a student at Yale University, inspired by the mid-90’s Indie Rock movement. She recorded her debut album The Ewe and the Eye – just her voice and acoustic guitar -- in one evening at the “Spaceshed” studio run by the LA band Further who then released it on their label in 1997 just as Todd was graduating from college. She relocated to New York City, playing downtown clubs and recording a second spare, acoustic album Come Out of Your Mine (The Communion Label, 1999).
Mia spent a year in Japan studying the avant-garde dance form, Ankoku Butoh, and began to write longer, intricate songs. On her return to Los Angeles, Mia went to work on her third album and formed City Zen Records to release Zeroone in 2001. These first three records all featured minimal, acoustic instrumentation, emphasizing her soaring vocals and finely wrought lyrics, the latter redolent of romantic poetry, but employing puns, alliteration, homonyms and many other verbal experiments.
Mia is a true artist -- an expressionist in many forms. Her garden of song is vast with flowers of infinite shape, color, size, and individuality. GEA is her most intuitive and primal collection of songs yet. Full of incredible passion and sensitivity, these songs reveal the depths of Mia’s emotions, visions and lyrical heart. The album opens with Mia playing guitar and harmonium accompanied by Andres Renteria on hand drums and prolific Chicago-based bassist Joshua Abrams (Sam Prekop, Prefuse 73). Broken, surviving, searching, and hopeful, Mia begins to sing and chant, flowing in the great “River Of Life” that all beings travel. The songs each follow suit beautifully, evanescently, featuring woodwind, brass and string arrangements by the young and talented multi-instrumentalist/composer Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. His arrangements seem to lift Mia on their wings for a mystical journey of intense projection, romance, mourning, and otherworldly imagery.
Mia has toured the US and Europe, headlining and opening for other artists, including Throwing Muse Kristen Hirsch, Lou Barlow’s Folk Implosion, Saul Williams, The Books, and Dungen. Having released records with labels as major and established as Columbia and as progressive and boutique as Plug Research, Mia is now enjoying her return to the homegrown approach. In addition to her lengthy music discography, Mia has choreographed and performed three solo dance pieces and dances with the group, Body Weather Laboratory.