Classical string instruments can be siloed within the classical music genre, but there are artists who are going outside those boundaries and creating interesting sonic soundscapes. Big Violin Player is one of those artists. Her first full length, Big!, uses string instruments along with standards like guitar, bass, and drums to create dense and layered instrumental tracks.
The eight track album showcases her composition skills using her cello and combining that with violin, keyboard, and other instruments. “Big!” as the lead track is a mixture of funk and jazz elements. The violin speaks the highest to promote the melody with the cello following. Bass and keyboards move around the main melody to add secondary voices while the drums provide the structure that the song follows.
Big Violin Player’s “Nokdu Flower Loop” is a solo track. By looping the cello, she’s able to build a song through multiple layers. Adding effects gives the song an ethereal feeling. It’s a short track at 1:40, but builds out into an expansive experience. The only weakness is that its end is a bit abrupt.
“Blue Bird” adds the gayageum to communicate with the cello. The percussive instrument speaks in accents which work well along with the smoother bassline. I think that “Blue Bird” shows the potential of Big Violin Player. It’s constantly speaking different melodies that work in tandem. The only thing I would want from the song is live drums as opposed to programmed drum beats.
“Flying Dog” is a bit more customary contemporary instrumental. It sounds like something you could hear in a bookstore as background music. I like that it’s a lighter song and easy to fall into. The mixture of songs on Big! show how personal experiences built each song.
“Barcelona Sants” has a more exploratory quality to it. The percussion helps a lot with this. The snare rhythms sound like the walking background noise you’d hear in a train station. The slower tempo and slight emptiness also gathers the wandering tone you could have if you’re lost. The back end songs on Big! also create different environments through the careful composition of sounds.
Big Violin Player’s Big! presents many personal experiences recreated within audio. Her composition and arrangements have distinct purpose where each instrument helps build the soundscape. What binds Big! together is her accuracy in creating these varied experiences. You might not have experienced these events the songs are built around, but you will know how they feel once you listen to the track. Big! is a personal journey that Big Violin Player invites you to join.