Oppressed by weltschmerz in the light of recent events? Staring out at leaden November skies? Then why not listen to a string quartet? So much fine music has been written for the enduring and flexible line-up of 2 violins, viola & cello, much of it anguished, sombre & tormented! One might begin near the beginning in the relatively cheerful & sunlit world of Joseph Haydn’s Op. 20 quartets (1772): here’s no. 4 from that set. A tip-of-the-iceberg selection of others… [more inside]
In June 2009, the filmmaker Myles O'Reilly nestled Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh in The Back Loft in Dublin, with a camera, a reel to reel recorder, a laptop, a fiddle, a five stringed viola and a hardanger, and what followed was a short series of five beautiful improvisations and a little bit of gardening banter
Take one part saw (1:15 in). Add one part glockenspiel and one part fiðla. Then, a dash of harmonium and some drum brushes. Accentuate with a cello, then layer with keyboards. Finally, add some piano and ensure there are two parts harp. Very carefully blend and Gleðileg jól! Amiina (previously) have bakaðar you a song.
If you've encountered delicately uplifting chimes and bells or a singing saw, seen the contributions of a string quartet in a Sigur Rós video, heard the last recording by Lee Hazlewood and noticed the gentle singing and music, or listened to Yukihiro Takahashi consider words, then you've possibly encountered the Icelandic band amiina. [more inside]
Pinar & Viola are two Dutch post-internet artists whose work explores new totalitarian impulses and the decadence of global culture through what they call "ecstatic surface design". Pinar Demirdag and Viola Renate’s latest work takes inspiration from popular culture to lambast the absurdity of contemporary society using beach towels. They also cover Turkey's anti-evolutionist showgirls and interpret Frieze through Instagram. NSFW&Sanity warning before... Our website refers to little gif animations, kittens, lolcats, ‘Welcome to my homepage’, glitter, all the little decorations that make our daily lives more beautiful and joyful.
What do you do when your viola recital gets interrupted by someone in the audience getting a call on their cellphone? Improvise.
ViolaGate, wherein a world-weary techno-busker wails on some catgut and twiddles some knobs (presumably), whisking veteran violinist Bernard Zaslav (slyt) into a cane-shaking frenzy. [more inside]
Why are viola players always the butt of the joke in the orchestra? Some viola jokes. Are you still laughing now?
Experience the intoxicating sounds of the viola...by Rozanna's Sweet Thunder. Be sure to watch the video clip.
Ursula Plaichinger, a 27 year-old viola player, is the first woman to be (partially) admitted into the Vienna Philharmonic since the orchestra's creation 161 years ago. Except for hiring temporary, underpaid, unmentioned and unseen harpists ("Cameramen were instructed to show only her hands, never her face or figure"), the Viennese Phil not only tried to ignore several pleads for gender equality but took seven years to comply to the Austrian government's injunctions. Does this kind of resistance reflect a general trend? Is Ursula's case merely an example of "Rent-a-Frau" ? On the other hand, since the Viennese orchestra is a private association, could this be just a modified version of the Battle of Augusta?