People Who Are Addicted To Music
For more than two centuries the preferred duo partner of the violin was the piano. With its powerful sound and polyphonic possibilities it was like the male dancer in a pas de deux who acts as a foil for the violin’s more supple, slender tone and allows it to soar. During a recital and workshop at the Austrian Cultural Forum on Thursday and Friday, the American-Dutch violinist Monica Germino presented the fruits of a very different partnership: violin and electronics.
Together with her regular collaborator, the electronic sound designer Frank van der Weij, she performed a half-dozen new works by American and European composers in which Mr. van der Weij’s digital wizardry amplified, distorted, fragmented and multiplied the voice of the solo violin. Part of the fun lay in the discovery of the resulting cool and unusual sounds, which ranged from Jimi Hendrix to radio-jamming signals and fire engine sirens. But Ms. Germino’s interest clearly lies in the dramatic possibilities of a partnership that is ultimately focused on empowering the violinist.