Duo Black Violin returns to Nashville this week. Violinist Kev Marcus answered a few questions about the group's evolution.
1. What composer and hip-hop artist would you want to put together for a collaboration?
I'd love to see what a collaboration between Eminem and Mozart would sound like. They are both prodigies and pushed their respective art forms to new heights and I think it would make for an interesting mix.
2. In the years you've been working together, what has evolved in your music making?
Our music is merely a reflection of who we are as people. So as we age and build our families, it's only natural for our music to reflect our growth and to become more "mature" so to speak. I believe that we've become much more patient with the music making process and have learned to shield our creativity from the sometimes corrosive aspects of the music business.
3. Breaking down stereotypes is such a running theme, both musically and overall for you. Do you have a favorite success story for this paradigm shift?
I remember playing a show in Tennessee 10 years ago at a big university and we needed a pair of DJ turntables in order to perform. When we showed up, the turntables were not there, and we had to scramble to get a pair of tables from the local radio station right before the show was set to begin. After a great show, a guy told us that he was supposed to bring the turntables and had opted not to becuase he didn't support the type of music we would create with the equipment. But after seeing the concert he admitted he was wrong and he was blown away by what we were doing, and he promptly and profusel apologized. That was proof that our music and movement i not only cool and creative, but that it is also important, and can change peoples' perception of what is possible.
4. If you were putting Black Violin into a mixtape, who else would you pair your mix with?
It would be a very eclectic mixtape to say the least. Other artists would probably include: Beethoven, Stevie Wonder, 2Cellos, J Cole, The Roots, Trombone Shorty, Jon Batiste, Stuff Smith, Bach, Stravinsky, Anderson Paak, Lindsey Stirling, Curtis Mayfield...
5. You often collaborate with local student string players in your shows. Do you feel like your music is still a surprise to them? Or as time goes on are kids more open to crossover?
I think that the atmosphere of a Black Violin concert is a surprise to anyone that's never been to our show. The music is only the beginning.
Black Violin performs at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center on May 9.