Traditionally, the violin is seen as a melodic solo instrument and on rare occasions it assumes rhythm and harmony as a principal function, as in the case of, for example, a second violin in a string quartet or an orchestra. When I started to play the guitar eight years ago, it fuelled my interest into how I could possibly translate the feeling of being a guitarist or percussionist into that of a fiddle player. Immediately after this I discovered Turtle Island String Quartet, a classical string ensemble specializing in modern styles such as jazz, rock and funk. In their performances they made use of advanced percussive bow techniques, commonly called “chopping” or “chop”.
Upon starting my master studies, my main teacher, Christiaan Van Hemert advised me to check fiddler Casey Driessen (1978, Owatonna, Minnesota, United States). He is an American bluegrass fiddler and singer who has performed with many well-known artists such as Béla Fleck, Abigail Washburn, Steve Earle, Tim O'Brien and Darol Anger. His use of advanced percussive bow techniques (chop) was outstanding. It made me realize that it was possible to use the violin as a groove-rhythm instrument.
ARTISTIC RESEARCH QUESTION
How could I expand my knowledge and use of percussive-bowing techniques used by fiddler Casey Driessen through the analysis of his music, and the translation of vocabulary from the flamenco cajón, so that I could incorporate them into my solo compositions and rhythmical improvisations?