AVAILABLE NOW | New CD from violinist Curtis Stewart: “Of Power”
Records of shiny shiny things announced the release of the New York violinist Curtis Stewarthis new album entitled “Of Power”.
Scheduled to coincide with Juneteenth, the five tracks on the CD were mastered by Prince’s sound engineer Derek Linzy of Paisley Park.
Created entirely during the COVID-19 lockdown, the album features original compositions as well as reimagined works by Charlie Parker, JS Bach, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Childish Gambino, John Coltrane, Paganini, Elektra Kurtis, Ysaÿe and Stevie Wonder.
“I’ve always been interested in applying Western European classical music techniques to material that speaks to my life and loves,” Curtis told The Violin Channel.
“In creating this material, I noticed an emerging pattern of stories that seemed to capture an aspect of my own personal and political struggle. I worked up the courage to share these vulnerable experiences in March 2020, and ended up receiving very touching comments from my social media posts, sometimes hearing from friends I hadn’t spoken to in years!As I spoke to more and more people during quarantine, I began to realize the importance of sharing stories through art or otherwise. It has unlocked meaning and value for me in extraordinarily difficult times.
“I feel like I live in a strange paradox. I play fully notated classical works for the violin. I create fully notated works of varying technical difficulty. I am grateful to teach at Juilliard and have had the chance of winning awards/scholarships in the field, which would indicate a sense of acceptance… But, as I speak to the public, to musicians and people in the industry, there is always a question mark as to whether this music fits into the classical lens.
“What I the hope of getting this music released is a kind of musical exorcism of my own insecurity about whether my music “sticks” or not. By fusing it with my own story and my own words, I want to remember that it has value outside of how it is perceived, that it belongs in the concert scene because of hard work and honesty that I put there, and that it comes from many traditions. and no tradition at the same time. I hope that those who listen will get a taste of who I am and hear my story only as one version of many – and that through this listening, they may also feel inspired by the seemingly “disparate” sides of themselves.”
Curtis Stewart, violin
Label: Bright Shiny Things
Release date: June 16, 2021