New release ‘Isolation Waltz’ and ‘Silent Streets’
When lockdown started, like musicians up and down the country, our gig diaries suddenly emptied and Saturday nights were spent at home. Fiddlebox (Helen Adam on fiddle and George Whitfield on accordion) had been working closely with musician and film maker Nick Swannell on our last album ‘Tears of a Robot’ and so we met on zoom to share our thoughts. We were having similar emotions of loneliness and isolation and all missing the adrenalin inducing highs of performing and the buzz of making music with others. Coupled with this was a bittersweet appreciation of the sudden quietness of life and the chance it gave us to hear the stillness and the sounds of the natural world.
In the first weeks we all slowed down, breathed out and listened, and then we wanted to express the half pleasant half painful limbo-like state we were in musically. These two tracks, ‘Isolation Waltz’ and ‘Silent Streets’ arose out of that impulse. We recorded on our own at home and sent large files back and forth and met online to work together on the structure and production.
‘Isolation Waltz’ uses a tune generally known as ‘Flatbush Waltz’ but also as ‘Andy’s Waltz’. It was written by Andy Statman who is a New York based musician. Coming from a Jewish background he is a virtuoso Klezmer clarinetist but is also known as a bluegrass and newgrass mandolin player. This explains why this tune appears in both traditions. Flatbush is a multi cultural area of Brooklyn. In our version we imagine a solitary dancer, waltzing alone in an empty room, spinning and turning slowly in the beams of sunlight from an open window.
‘Silent Streets’ uses the Klezmer tune ‘Der Gasn Nign’ which translates to ‘song of the streets’. Right from the start echoes distort and play alongside the main melody creating a sound picture of an empty street which is peopled by the memories of its former bustling life and by anticipation of a future, but which is caught, just for this moment, in a suspended stillness that casts its spell upon the listener.
Both tracks are being released on 13th September 2020 on Bandcamp. This is a music selling platform which supports the artists primarily rather than any large corporation. Find us by going to bandcamp.com and searching for Fiddlebox.