Battle of the Violins


Working with Baladino was an opportunity for me to connect with sound and music making from a very different angle than Classical music. It made me rediscover the ways in which I use the violin and playing techniques to create sounds. And the journey for me started with how to talk about music. Since both groups come from such different musical backgrounds, finding a common vocabulary with which to describe our work became a metaphor for the project itself. We ended up learning from each other by demonstrating, listening, and imitating and in the process using our instruments as real voices. The result was that every piece we worked on together took a completely unique shape by virtue of bringing together different languages to communicate the same message.

One of my favorite tracks on this disk is Dan Visconti’s Black Bend. In its original form, it is a traditionally-notated piece of music that invokes the sounds of a blues club and makes Classical musicians sound like we are improvising. When we brought Baladino into this piece it quickly became an opportunity to place side by side the notated blues with the free spirit of Baladino’s improvisation in something akin to a battle of the violins. The fact that the showdown was brought into a dusky, gritty blues bar takes both of us violinists out of our natural musical habitats and lets us engage with an American vernacular through the lenses of our respective musical heritages. It brought me closer to what I imagine a blues musician might experience on stage: the musical energy is intoxicating.

Nedudim brought Baladino and Fifth House together to make beautiful, exciting music. I learned to speak new musical dialects, I got into the characters of non-Classical musicians, and thereby I found great creative outlet in exploring the versatility of my voice.

– Charlene Kluegel, 5HE violinist

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