I am a Ph.D. musicology student at the University of Minnesota and a violinist. This website is my way of processing my musical adventures as I conduct dissertation field research in Romania. It is my media lab, my writing studio, my playground. My goal for this site is to register Transylvanian folk music, with a special emphasis on string bands, as it is occurring at the beginning of the 21st century.
I cast a wide net to capture blog topics that are hopefully interesting, helpful, insightful, critical, or perhaps at times a bit funny. In all cases, I am exploring this musical world through a process of respectful curiosity and experimentation. I want to convey mainly two things: one, that there are various and sometimes competing approaches to the study, patronage, and performance of this music; and two, that the wide variety of musical backgrounds and techniques of Transylvanian folk violinists simultaneously blurs, splinters, and enriches the genre, creating an exceptional and somehow cohesive string ensemble art form.
The Gallery is a space for the best folk-derived string music in Transylvania. It is an important aspect of this site. The work that these musicians produce deserves a better-known place in the lexicon of world musical genres. As a violinist, I hear their various string playing approaches and techniques as bold, unconventional, innovative, and exciting. For these reasons, these violinists and the music they create deserves deep consideration by string experts and enthusiasts around the world. I hope that this site provides such a platform.