Violin Variations is one of our reviewers' top requested shows this year! Broadway Baby finds out why.
It’s a music show that defies genre boundaries. There really is something for everyone, as cheesy as that sounds! If one kind of music isn’t your normal bag, just wait 5 minutes and there’ll be something else you love.
Tell us about your show
As a professional classical musician I’ve sometimes felt a little restricted by performing only classical music in a strictly traditional way. So I set out to make a concert that I would want to go see myself with a huge range of musical influences – from Bach to film music, electronica and rock – and to keep the same focus on quality of live performance from the classical music world. To do this I use an electric violin, pedals, laptop and an interactive AudioCube to loop all these different kinds of music completely live – in effect, an orchestra from a single instrument!
Why did you decide to take your show to Space UK this year?
Although I live in Sweden now, I’ll always be a Scot, so I always jump at the chance to play my shows back in my home country. I did a very successful run with a similar project a few years ago, so it’ll be great to bring all my latest repertoire along this year. And the Space do such a great range of things that it seemed to suit my eclectic approach.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s festival?
As always, the audiences. Hearing their reactions, both during and after the shows, is priceless.
Why Edinburgh? What’s the attraction?
Are you kidding? It’s a perfect festival in a perfect city! Plus I lived here for a while before, so it’s a mini-homecoming!
What makes your show unique amongst the thousands of others at the festival?
It’s a music show that defies genre boundaries. There really is something for everyone, as cheesy as that sounds! If one kind of music isn’t your normal bag, just wait 5 minutes and there’ll be something else you love. (Just like the Edinburgh weather!) Plus, it will open your mind to new kinds of music. I’ve had 70-year-olds who normally go to classical concerts asking me about that Massive Attack song I did, as well as teenagers wanting to know more about Mozart!
What has been the biggest challenge in getting your show ready for Edinburgh?
It’s a one-man show, and I like to keep things real by doing it all myself. It keeps it personal and relevant, but obviously that means it’s a HUGE amount of work, both on and off the stage.
Have you been to other venues at the festival?
Yeah, I played at the Bongo Club a couple of years ago, and I’ll also be doing the music for a theatre piece at Spotlites this year too – my own composition – called Beethoven in Stalingrad, which also uses the same blend of live electric violin and music technology.
How did you create your show?
It came from my love of all kinds of music, and my unwillingness to accept that there was only one traditional way to make concerts. I play the music I love myself, and I combine that love with my inner geek’s love of technology to combine electric violin with all kinds of live digital innovation.
What’s the main thing you want to get out of the festival this year?
Again, it’s a bit cheesy, maybe, but very true – to see audiences get that same thrill from my innovative cross-genre approach as I do when I’m playing it!
Can you tell us a bit about your company’s background?
The things that led me to make this concert, as mentioned above, grew over the years until I decided to take a step away from the symphony orchestra and focus on my own performance and educational projects based on this eclectic approach and the use of music technology to enhance live performance.
If your show does well in Edinburgh, what do you want to do with it next?
Whatever happens I’ll keep on developing new music and keep on performing until I drop! That’s true love that is, aye!
Show Name: Violin Variations
Production Company: Elucian Words and Music
Venue The Space: @ Symposium Hall (Venue 43)
Dates & Times: Aug 17–22 & 24–29 at 4.05 p.m. also Aug 23 at 7.20 p.m.
Twitter Handle: @elucian