Friday, July 27, 2012

"Hell's Bells ringing, my secret music..."

So if you recall, I've been reading The Vampire Chronicles, by Anne Rice. While I am on the fifth book now, the second and third have a hefty number of pages devoted to Lestat, the vampire rock star. Interestingly, during the latter days of Lestat's mortal life he runs away from home to Marie Antoinette-era Paris with his friend, the soulful but rejected-by-the-masters violinist, Nicky. I wish that I had the books with me, or had a better memory, because there are some great descriptions of Nicky's playing. I remember one passage wherein the violin is described as being able to communicate emotions in a way that no other instrument can, that it is the most haunting. In the books, Lestat uses his vampiric powers of mimicry to play a medley of Nicky's songs for the Vampire Queen, causing her to briefly wake from her endless slumber. Also, it is rock music that awakens Lestat  in a 1980s New Orleans graveyard, and there are great descriptions of the "electronic amplification's ability to sustain notes into eternity".

Well, tonight marks the end of over a decade I've taken off from playing the violin. Once I got a guitar, I started to slack a lot in the school orchestra, and once I was out of high school I set the violin down completely. I even sold my old student violin. Being out here on the road, trying to put together shows and pickup bands, I've been frustrated by the lack of a string player. Then it dawned on me: we were walking through downtown Tucson right by the Chicago Music Store, where I rented a violin for the school Orchestra way back in 3rd grade. I got a nice contact pickup, so we can run the fiddle through an amp. This useful piece of gear will work better for the Genre Zero violinist back in SLC; she currently uses a clip-on mic that produces a lot of feedback. Also, I've acquired a clip-on all-instrument tuner, which I can use when playing the violin to make sure my notes are actually in tune. Finally, I had them rig my rental up with 'fret' markings. I'm only going to whip out the violin for a couple songs tonight. I'm either going to blow minds, or, get mine blown away by an angry audience. Here's hoping for the former!

No comments:

Post a Comment