Lindsey Stirling & other new instrumental sounds
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - August 20, 2014 - 12:00am

Shatter Me by Lindsey Stirling. The pretty girl who dances with her electronic violin is back. I am sure you remember Lindsey. She is the girl who dances while playing the violin and who skyrocketed to fame after she posted videos of herself on YouTube, dancing and cranking out her own compositions. The album that grew out of her efforts has since then already sold over half a million copies and a million digital tracks. The single Crystallize alone has been viewed 98 million times.

For her second release titled Shatter Me, Lindsey has added something new. Aside from performing and writing the music, plus producing, directing and doing the choreography for her videos, Lindsey is now also a storybook writer. Shatter Me comes with a little story about a ballerina who plays the violin while captive in a glass globe and dreaming of the world outside. One day, her music shatters the glass and she breaks free. This story is simple, sweet and meaningful. It comes with the album and features gorgeous, dancing pictures of Lindsey.

As before, Lindsey’s music is a mix of the fun and otherworldly and that of an old-time instrument meeting the electronic age. The result is thoroughly infectious and most danceable. That must be the reason why, Lindsey herself kept on dancing and playing the violin even after TV host Piers Morgan of America’s Got Talent told her there is no market for what she does and that she will never make it.

Shatter Me features Beyond The Veil, Mirror Haus, V-Pop, Shatter Me featuring Uzzy Hale, Heist, Roundtable Rival, Night Vision, Take Flight, Ascendance, We Are Giants featuring Dia Frampton, Swag and Master of Tides.

Music by David Garrett. Dance is not the only thing that violins do these days. If Lindsey’s dances then David’s violin rocks. David, who by the way, also looks like a model and performs like a rock star mixes rock hits with the classical in his repertoire, as in Bach keeps company with Justin Timberlake or Beethoven with Coldplay. That was how he did it in his debut album titled Rock Symphonies, where he had mash-ups of the new rockers with classic melodies that sold really big. 

There are no mash-ups in his latest, which is simply titled Music. But the formula remains the same. Here are recent rock favorites like Cry Me A River by Justin, performed rock star style on the violin. I say that if you are interested in introducing some kids to the violin, then the albums of David with the songs they like to listen to are a good way to start. David, like Lindsey is one of the new breed of violinists who have found a way to make the violin hip and exciting enough for today’s young people. 

Take a look at the interesting line-up of familiar titles in Music by David: Viva La Vida, Scherzo by Beethoven; Human Nature, Tico Tico featuring Arturo Sandoval; Nocturne by Chopin featuring David Foster; Whole Lotta Bond; Sonatina by Clementi; Sandstorm; Music; Sabre Dance; the Double Harpsichord Concerto; We Will Rock You and Beethoven’s Ode To Joy featuring the European Community Choir.

Latino by Milos. This must be one of the best albums of Latin music available nowadays. My thinking is if Luis Miguel’s singing were a guitar, this is what it would sound like. Milos Karadaglic on the guitar is plain heavenly and the music was so well chosen that every cut is a gem. Again, we see here a blend of the new like a young artist with screen Latin lover looks with an old instrument, the guitar but brought up to date. Milos’ earlier recordings were mostly classical pieces like Rodrigo’s Concerto de Aranjuez. He goes into a different, easy listening direction with this one and I love the very commercial result.

Milos, who by the way is from Montenegro, does familiar Latin tunes in this new album, most notably, the one that Lolo and Lola most certainly danced to, La Cumparsita by Matos Rodriguez the one that Al Pacino danced to in the movie Scent of a Woman, Por Una Cabeza by Gardel. Also included are Libertango and Oblivion by Piazzolla; Danza Brasilera by Morel; Prelude No.1 and Mazurka-Choro by Villa-lobos; Tango en Skai by Dyens;; Milonga by Cardoso; Un Sueno en la Floresta and Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios by Barrios Mangore; Un Dia de Noviembre by Brouwer; Quizas, Quizas, Quizas by Farres; Batucada by Savio; Scherzino Mexicano and Chanson by Ponce.

The Piano Guys: Live at Red Butte Garden. Those Piano Guys, who are actually a piano and a cello are still at it. The new release is a video of a performance at the incredible Red Butte Garden in Utah. This is the first time I heard about and saw something of the place and whatever beauty it has has just become farther enhanced by the music of The Piano Guys. Here is the same formula, instrumental group uses classical arrangements for pop tunes and the result is invariably pleasing to a wider market. And as fans of this group already know, the Piano Guys also add the magic of their well-made, eye-pleasing videos to every song they play.

The song line-up includes What Makes You Beautiful, Without You, Rolling In The Deep, Beethoven’s 5 Secrets, Code Name Vivaldi, Cello Wars, A Thousand Years, Over The Rainbow/ Simple Gifts, Bring Him Home, The Cello Song and a mash-up of Titanium and Pavane. With bonus videos of All Of Me, Waterfall and Can’t Help Falling In Love.

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