Ian Peaston

Elucian Words & Music

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Anti-genre DIY violinist pressing loop pedals & pushing purists' buttons. Curating music technology, electric violin, and innovations in classical and cross-genre music performance. No kittens. Maybe Ewoks.

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In Violin Variations I take one of the oldest musical themes in European music history — La Folia — and build a suite of variations, or live remixes, around it, just as musicians and composers have done for centuries. This suite includes adaptations of baroque and classical variations by Corelli, Geminiani, C. P. E. Bach, and Vivaldi, and blends them with new works, composed specially for this project by international composers. These include Tobias Broström, one of Sweden’s best young composers, who starts off twisting the bass line through digital cellos before presenting the theme, after which he starts to crush it all up into a single cluster chord. This gradually fades away to leave space for another new variation by Naomi Edemariam, a renowned pianist and composer from Canada. Her variation is called Five Ways, and uses five long loops to gradually rebuild the La Folia theme, with an added layer of birdsong twittering around the melody, as her work takes its inspiration from the poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, by Wallace Stevens.

Resources:

La Folia: A Musical Cathedral

Anakin's Theme (John Williams) for solo violin

Ian Peaston

Violin Variations

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Here’s another track from today’s rehearsal. It’s my own solo violin arrangement of Anakin’s Theme from Star Wars by John Williams,with  polyphonic violin techniques like those used by Bach and Bartok et al. to get all the notes from Williams’ rich orchestral score onto one instrument. I’m doing this on electric violin with some longish reverb effects to enhance the polyphony, but it could be played just as easily on an acoustic violin.

No loop pedals were harmed in the making of this track.

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