From within the Coast String Fiddlers, a new and innovative group has developed. The nine members of NYWP explore new music composed and taught by Oliver Schroer. Springing from traditional fiddle styles, the multi-layered textures, orchestral timbres, and unique colour palette of sound stretch the concept of acoustic strings. The group creates an illusion of synthesized music with the depth of symphonic sonority, driven by multi-meter rhythmic vitality: the effect is funky and fun.
Joining with a similar group of fiddlers from Smithers, Generation F, Unplucked, the two groups merged as the Twisted String at the Vancouver Folk Festival last July.
Twisted, as two strands are twined together, and twisted, as this is music that is slightly twisted, not the norm. As they played on stage and roamed the grounds playing as a Guerilla Fiddle Squad they were the talk of the festival. Even amongst the colourful costumes expected at Folk Fest, Twisted String were easily the brightest, most eye-catching act. They dressed in hot pink, sunny yellow, lime green and neon orange pants and tropical tops, designed by the kids themselves. Projecting their musical energy through sound and sight, they reached the audience's hearts.
The titles of the tunes hint at the extraordinary quality of the music. The Night Before the Chicken Got Fried is a quirky ode to the final drunken revels of certain meat birds. The Driving Song is a tribute to the Canadian tradition of the cross-county car trip, complete with traffic and horn honking sounds at the end, all produced by fiddle. Fireballs of the Eucharist describes well, come to a concert and hear the story!
The groups NYWP and Generation F, Unplucked will get together to become The Twisted String Project for their 2005 summer tour which includes the Vancouver Island Folk Festival (www.islandmusicfest.com) and The Harrison Festival of the Arts (www.harrisonfestival.com).
For more about Twisted String's plans for the future, and for Oliver Schroer's biography and CDs, check out www.oliverschroer.com.
The combined groups will be at the Gumboot Café on Monday, Aug. 11 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the Gumboot or call Ann or John Law at 604-886-4768.