Free Concert: Sundays at Three

Date: Jan 22, 2012
Time: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Bernardsville Public Library

Caryn Lin—an “electric violinist full of voltage”—will perform. As she plays, recorded snippets of her music play back in a continuous loop adding layer upon layer of sound over deceptively simple melodies. The result is music that is both otherworldly and catchy. Funded by the Friends of the Bernardsville Library. Doors open at 2:45 pm. Free. No sign-up is needed.

“Caryn Lin does not simply play the violin, she has electrified and reinvented it and then continually takes it where no human has ever dared. In a nutshell, Caryn Lin is to violin is what Bela Fleck is to Banjo, Miles Davis to trumpet, Zappa to guitar, Coltrane to sax, and, well, you get the idea.” Bruce Ranes, Sellersville Theater

A classically trained violinist who went on to become an electric violin and education innovator, Lin is influenced by everything from baroque to rock. And although she thinks of her music as solo electric violin/virtual orchestra, her music isn’t easy to categorize, even for her.

The Cherry Hill, New Jersey native started violin lessons at age 9, and soon began studies with the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Larry Grika. She earned a degree in violin performance from Northwestern University, but even then she took a unique approach to the violin. When she got home from class, all she wanted to do was jam to her Jackson Browne and Bob Dylan records.

After graduation, Lin moved to Germany to study under virtuoso Susanne Lautenbacher. But staying true to her love of innovation, she also jammed with street musicians and played in several bands. During a show on her last night in Germany, a guitarist wondered what would happen if they plugged an echo box into the pick-up on her acoustic violin. Lin listened as the sound of her violin filled the room, accompanying itself, and creating a fantastic soundscape unlike anything else she’d ever heard. It was as exciting as an electric guitar, but it was even closer to her heart. The classical musician who had always felt like a misfit had found her place.

After years of experimenting with sound, Lin puts on a live show that is truly unique. Sometimes as a solo artist and sometimes with a backing band, she plays her four, five and six string electric violins and uses a jam man to make short on-the-spot recordings of her voice, percussion instruments, and other sounds. As she plays the violin, the recorded snippets play back in a continuous loop adding layer upon layer of sound over deceptively simple melodies. The result is music that is both otherworldly and totally catchy. In recent years, she has become a strong lyricist, sometimes adding her crystalline voice to the mix.

Lin has played everywhere from Lincoln Center to Six Flags, the Kimmel Center to the Crayola Crayon factory, to the 800th anniversary of a monastery in the French Alps. Her music has been featured on MTV’s The Real World and on 150 radio stations across the county, and she (and her music) appeared in the movie “Philadelphia.” She has just released her fifth studio album “The Call.”

“Unlike the music defined by pure genre, Lin’s only limits are those of her electric violin.” New York Post