A DIY “Black Waltz”; Watch As String Villains Make Magic Happen

People are out there doing cool things; that’s one of the things keeping me going. The blog is a lot of work to maintain but it’s all worth it when I know that I can contribute my little voice to the amazing things being done out in the world. Here’s an example: a bunch of guys called String Villains decided to play their brand of post metal with an orchestra. However, they’re young and they don’t have the connections or the money to make something like that happen. So, what do they do? Why, the wrangle students from their university who study music, use the fact that the orchestra is made up of these selfsame students to sell the idea to the university and record a bloody track with them. The result is both well composed and executed, a delight for the ears and the mind as this daring story unravels. Below you can find a video of the said event. Let’s meet after it!

Quite something, isn’t it? I absolutely love the vibe of the entire thing, especially the off-kilter passage which comes after the quiet lull in the middle. On the whole, this is super impressive composition work, writing not only the “traditional” band parts but also the orchestral segments. You then have to actually convince students with exams to practice the thing before you play and record it. And you have to take care of the logistics around the operation. And it ends up sounding great? Truly an accomplishment. Over email, singer Andrew Johnston shared with me some of what went into producing this:

There was no pre-organised orchestra nor anything else. Aside from the writing, to make the event happen I had to convince the university’s staff that it would actually work to book the venue, then individually ask and persuade as many music performance students as I could find to get involved (during exam season!) and recruit all of the technical team in the same way to create the recording and video; the original sound engineer team bailed within two weeks of the show and we were still recruiting performers within one week. Nothing was secure, but it made for a really interesting experience.

Virtually everybody involved being a student is how we managed to sell the idea to the university for permission, but the whole team being teenagers or in their early twenties was a personal goal because we knew it was less-explored and could be possible if we took the shot.

What is in the future for this group and the musicians involved? That remains to be seen. Verve is not enough to create a career but by god, it’s a good god damn start! These kinds of stories are what we love to hear about; someone with a vision and a passion who doesn’t climb mountains or conquers some impossible goal, but works diligently towards something achievable and makes it happen. If and when more news about String Villains or any other related projects surface, we’ll be sure to let you know. For now, head on over to the project’s Bandcamp and grab this single for Name Your Price.

Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.