The Violin is a collaboration between composer Anna Clyne and visual artist Josh Dorman. Amy Kauffman and Cornelius Dufallo perform Clyne’s seven compositions on violin with some fragments of spoken poetry, read by Clyne herself. The stop-motion animations by Dorman vary from abstract to narrative, and incorporate materials such as graphite, tealeaves, paint, and collaged paper.

From the composer, Anna Clyne –

“The piece was inspired by my dear friends and wonderful violinists, Corneilius Dufallo and Amy Kauffman, based in New York City, and another dear friend and luthier, Bruno Guastalla, based in Oxford, England. Shortly after my mother passed away in 2008, I found a violin in Oxfam, a charity shop in Oxford. It was in a dusty old case leaning up against a pile of vinyl records in the basement. Priced at £5.99 (approx. $9), the European baroque-style violin dating from the late 1800s, with a hand-carved lion’s head scroll was a bargain. It needed some work, so I took it to Bruno’s shop and he restored the violin in exchange for composition lessons. Back in Brooklyn, with a beautifully restored fiddle in stow, I made another barter with Neil and Amy – a violin duet in exchange for violin lessons. I subsequently composed Blue Hour, a violin duet with a pre-recorded track, which they premiered at John Zorn’s New York City performance space, The Stone, in 2009, and I began my violin lessons. The following summer, we recorded the suite at our friend, Jody Elff’s home studio on his apple orchard in Upstate New York.

One of my favourite pieces of music for solo violin is the Presto from Bach’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001. On the anniversary of my mother’s death, I composed six more pieces to make a suite alongside Blue Hour, which became the opening movement for The Violin – composing one piece an evening, finishing with Lavender Rain on the day of her anniversary. The Bach is quoted in Rest These Hands and Tea Leaves, and these same two movements take their titles from two poems my mother wrote in the last year of her life.

Shortly after completing the music, I came across the work of New York-based artist Josh Dorman, through a program on PBS, which showed his extraordinary work with a Chicago-based organization that combines art and music in their work with people with Alzheimer’s. Through his art, he captured individual life stories through a collage of images that were recalled in their conversations. His art was deeply moving, and I felt an immediate connection. We met shortly thereafter at a café in New York City, following which, I sent him the recordings for The Violin. Over subsequent years, Josh created seven stop-motion animations to accompany each of the seven movements.”

Anna Clyne, Composer

Colleen Clyne, Poet

Josh Dorman, Artsit & Animator

Erik Satre, Film Editor

Cornelius Dufallo, Violin

Amy Kauffman, Violin

Jody Elff, Recording Engineer

Scott Hull, Mastering Engineer

Garth MacAleavey, Audiovisual Engineer

Josh Dorman’s artwork is represented by Ryan Lee Gallery, NYC

Produced by VisionIntoArt

Visual Commission by VisionIntoArt

Music published by Boosey & Hawkes

  • The Violin quietly succeeds as a freestanding work, a handsome, witty and above all auspicious album from a label that promises to be an essential new voice in the future of American classical music.” Q2 Music (WQXR)
  • Q2 Music “Best of 2014”
  • NPR Music named “Blue Hour” from The Violin on of their recent list HEAVY ROTATION – 10 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Listening To.
  • Critic’s Pick, TimeOut New York, September 2014
  • “The performance was eloquent, the music deeply moving… Overhead, during four of the seven movements, gently whimsical films by Josh Dorman, in which archaic images of people, animals and machines floated through impossible, cloudlike pastel landscapes, complemented the tone of the performance without literally interpreting the music.” New York Times
  • The Violin also serves as a delicate microcosm of its exciting new label, an offshoot of the collaboration- and multimedia-focused organization VisionIntoArt.” Alex Ambrose, WQXR’s Q2 Music, for NPR

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Release Date: September 9, 2014