Fans of the Nanaimo Fiddelium Youth Violin Ensemble can now take the band’s music with them.
Last month, Fiddelium released their self-titled debut album. Due to COVID-19 precautions, each of the 15 violinists and violas recorded their parts one at a time, with Fiddelium co-director Geoff Horrocks editing the individual performances together afterwards using “software magic.”
He called it an âinteresting processâ.
âAll the kids were really well prepared,â Horrocks said. “Sometimes the kids had to do a few errandsâ¦ but it was an interesting challenge because you weren’t all in the same room and therefore you didn’t have any visual communication between the players so staying together was hard to do.”
The CD includes Irish, French-Canadian, Swedish and classical pieces, as well as songs by fiddlers JJ Guy of Saskatoon and Gordon Stobbe of Halifax, two frequent guests of Fiddelium, works by Canadian fiddler Oliver Schroer, pianist Oscar Peterson and Last show conductor Jon Batiste. There’s even a Fiddelium original called For Keitha, dedicated to Whitehorse violin instructor Keitha Clark, another friend of Fiddelium.
âEveryone had to write something based on the waltz in a particular key and we took all the pieces and sewn into a melody out of them,â Horrocks said.
The recording was made in the home studio of Fiddelium co-directors Geoff and Trish Horrocks during the first three months of 2021. Fiddelium member Mieka Schneidereit, 15, said it was her ” first big recording session “.
âIt was really exciting,â she said. “It was really real when you put the headphones on and started recording in the cabin and it was a really cool and fun experience.”
After receiving his copy of the CD, Schneidereit asked for a few more to give to his friends and family. She said listening to the album put her in her own audience for the first time.
âWhen I play with the band, I don’t really know what we sound like because I’m focusedâ¦ or I’m just having a good time,â she said. âSo when I actually hear our band playing, I’m like, ‘Oh that’s cool. This is how we sound.
Fiddelium’s first album is available here.