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October 18, 2012
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Versatile Hollingsworth also does music for video games, ski movies

CRYSTAL Bay, Nev. - Kyle Hollingsworth set out on a career in music 25 years ago and with a wealth of desire and an abundance of ability, he has established himself as a formidable and versatile music talent, with the ability to contribute, collaborate, compose, and communicate on a number of levels and within a vast spectrum of musical environments.

Today, as a member of acclaimed jam masters the String Cheese Incident, Hollingsworth is revered by both peers and fans for his ability to write and perform in a mosaic of styles, from rock to classical, ragtime to bebop. Playing in SCI has allowed him unrestricted access to the world of music, and has bestowed on him the kind of fearlessness a composer needs to flirt with such disparate genres. Those who've seen SCI know that they can jerk from funk to bluegrass on a chord change.

"In the jam world, where there are no set ways of doing things, we're not afraid to move in and out of genres," he said in a press statement, "and because of that I've learned to be creative, not only onstage but in the studio. I can get on board with something pretty quickly. You have to."

Hollingsworth also has a good ear, which helps when you're constantly immersed in unfamiliar situations.

"I've always felt the instrumentals I create in my home studio are tailor-made for films," he said. "As far as communicating musical passages, I write pretty good hooks and I know what it takes to get to the point."

He's proven that already with a variety of work that he's already done for advertising, television, film, and even video games.

Kyle has developed soundtracks for EA Sports' popular Sims 2007 and is currently dabbling in other video game projects. There are examples of his work on his website. He said, "For video games, it has been fun writing in more of a classical vein. By utilizing timpani, strings and other classical elements, I am able to create tension beds and action sequences that help make the scenes come alive."

Most recently, Kyle contributed to the soundtrack of a Warren Miller film. "The key to good cinematic music," he said, "is to not overpower the visuals. My job is to add to the scene without making my music the focal point. I try to add emotion, not take it away."

While his versatility and quick-study nature have become his signature skills with SCI, they have also proved tremendously helpful on stage during collaborations with a bunch of major acts, including Paul Simon, Bruce Hornsby, Bob Weir, Little Feat, and banjo master Bela Fleck. One summer he toured with Phil Lesh in a band that also included Steve Kimock, John Molo, and Warren Haynes. In another amazing highlight, Kyle also toured with Mike Clark in a band that starred nearly all the original Head Hunters.

These gigs prove that Hollingsworth is as unafraid to step out of the limelight as he is to step into it. "When I play with these performers it's about showcasing them, to support the main role in the best possible way. Seasoned musicians can be tasty and laid back, too."

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Oct 18, 2012 12:37PM Published Oct 18, 2012 12:30PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.