Dave Soldier

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

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New York's violinist Dave Soldier, a founding member of the renown Soldier String Quartet, ventured into popular music in eccentric manners. First he penned Smut (1994), a modern setting of medieval texts, with alien vocals and dissonant arrangements that were sometimes reminiscent of Diamanda Galas, Robert Wyatt, Captain Beefheart and even Karlheinz Stockhausen.

The Kropotkins (1996) were a group (fiddle/banjo, drums and vocals) formed with vocalist Lorette Velvette and rock musicians to deconstruct the Delta blues.

She's Lightning When She Smiles (1996) did the same with a cast that included his quartet, jazz musicians and blues singers.

Ice-9 Ballads (2001) is the soundtrack for a Kurt Vonnegut book.

The Tangerine Awkestra (2000) is a vocal ensemble of Brooklyn schoolchildren performing free improvisation.

His most celebrated creation, the Thai Elephant Orchestra, is an ensemble of elephants playing custom-made large instruments, mostly of the gamelan kind. They perform their own improvisations and some compositions by Soldier and others on Thai Elephant Orchestra (2001) and Elephonic Rhapsodies (Mulatta, 2004). He also designed instruments for finches and chimpanzees.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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