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Owl Morrison

Viola
Vocals - Songs
Statues

Playing With Matches



by Owl Morrison
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Owl has developed an eclectic and electric repertoire of instrumentals from Celtic to Gypsy and back again with nods to concert band music, movie soundtracks and rock and roll. In her travels, she always found other string players and encouraged them to jam and find unfretted harmonies. Many of her fiddle buddies are featured here on Playing With Matches. Imagine if you will, a wandering fiddler going from house to house visiting her friends to share music with violinists, a cellist, another violist and even a guitar player or two. After a fine meal and refreshment, the fiddlers open their cases and celebrate the music they love. At one house, a medley of songs learned from the playing of Chico Marx (Medley for Three or More Balls) is played while Arsene Dupin, the clown juggles along. At another, they play an Italian Tarantella, a stately tune from France called The Crested Hen, and a slow Irish waltz, the Arran Boat Song. Further down the road as the night gets rowdier, she plays a rousing jig (Banish Misfortune) and delights her hosts with her version of John Phillip Sousa's Washington Post March, ending the visit with a nod to George Harrison (Love You To) joined by percussionist Oliver Rajamani on tablas. Other non-traditional tunes include Milk In The Batter, a tune from a video version of a Maurice Sendak's In The Night Kitchen recorded by a New Orleans swing quartet and Ladie Andersons Fantasie is based on themes from Example 22 by Laurie Anderson.


A New Collection of String Family Instrumentals


Playing With Matches is a production of string collaborations featuring violist Owl Morrison and many of the violinists, gypsies, jugglers and fiddlers she has played with in her travels. Morrison, songwriter, instrumentalist and performance artist focuses her new album on duos, quartets and solos featuring fiddlers and string music of all ilks.

"This album is intended to showcase the pairing of viola with violin in a variety of musical styles and with a variety of violinists. In my travels I've been privileged to share the stage with many talented musicians, and an occasional clown. There is always a particular magic when a violin is part of the mix," explains Morrison. Growing up in Indiana, Owl began her education thanks to music classes in her schools. "Viola may not seem an obvious choice for a solo instrument. Luckily that thought hadn't occurred to me when I took her out of the orchestra and into the wide wacky world of avant folk music."




Brendan Milburn of Groovelily says...

Owl Morrison is utterly compelling.
In the extremely small field of string-playing singer-songwriters,
women and men who sing WHILE they bow a stringed instrument she stands out.
She is unique, yet her music and voice are accessible
like e.e. cummings and Aaron Copland are dancing around a campfire in her head.
In performance, all distractions vanish
and you find yourself watching and listening, dumbstruck,
waiting to see where she'll go next.
Totally and completely engrossing, and the music is good, too.