Kai Stewart's Confounded Contraption

I am a person of varied interests

I feel a tension between my desire to get good at things, so I can make stuff of great beauty, and my desire to do lots of different kinds of things, because beauty takes so many forms. Time I spend painting is time I'm not spending playing music. Time I spend bending glass is time I'm not spending writing stories.

I have thought of life as an eating competition, or land grab, where the faster you go means the farther you are when time runs out.

But here we are, and we are exactly this far, and while I can't speak to what would have happened if I'd run faster, or spent more time running in a particular direction, I can say that the pattern of my running is mine, and no one else could have made it.

I have found that everything I learn brings up other areas of my interest. Working on art has influenced my songwriting. Bedtime Stories for Nobody started is a throwaway project, a break from work and effort, but it has become a blossoming of everything I know. That's pretty cool.

Ok so enough abstraction. I mostly work on:


I like to draw and paint people and monsters and birds. Wouldn't it be amazing to build exhibits for museums? Like big murals of ancient biomes, or dioramas of distant habitats. Little windows into strange places. Some of my older stuff is on Flickr, and I post some newer stuff to Twitter.


I write Bedtime Stories for Nobody, which are not bedtime stories, unless you listen to them in bed, i guess. I have been featured in Strange Horizons, The Unsettled Foundation, and Doorways to Extra Time.


I played with Corpus Callosum when they first formed, and while it wasn't long in the context of their career, it was formative for me. I admire their commitment to exploration and performance.

After that I started DeatHat with Erik Ostrom. I wanted DeatHat to be jazz played by skeletons. It wasn't that, but it was something else.

Now I make music under the name Tender Beast, which has nearly nothing in common with the experimental music I love, but satisfies the part of me that sat in the living room while someone played a guitar and everyone sang along to words not everyone knew.

You can email me or follow me on Twitter.