Durham has become well known as a welcoming place for artists of all types. In that tradition, Mercury Studio on Mangum Street recently hosted Karma Thomas who enraptured Durham residents with her performance of Bulgaria: A Fairly Dark Faerie Tale or, A Mid-Winter’s Dream.
About 20 people gathered on November 1 as she read songs and performed her libretto. Thomas, who moved to Durham in April, is inspired by nature, especially birds. Her performance reflected how mythological stories connect us to life.
Thomas’s music career began early. She was influenced by Harry Neilsson, a 70s songwriter, who wrote a children’s music story called “The Point.”
“That was my favorite piece of music as a child. It’s a psychedelic children’s story, a dark fairy tale,” said Thomas. “In 2005, I started writing these songs and I played drums in a band called Pyradical. My alter ego wears a black veil every time I play the drums.”
Thomas trained as an actress after college and went to Los Angeles to pursue acting, but she continued to write songs. Later, she moved to New York where she started to perform. She joined a band, Earl Gray Hound, wither her son Matt. She had a lot of fun touring with him after their first album came out.
“Since I was a little girl, I been writing songs. I can’t remember that I wasn’t doing something musical. I was always writing music,” said Thomas. “My songwriting is based on finding mythological truth I see and am experiencing. So I create music in a form to find mythological truth.”