Playing badly on purpose….

Yesterday I had an interesting job – a recording session at USP content studios  for solo violin.  The piece is to be used in a radio advertisement for a forthcoming novel. My brief was to compose a few bars of lovely ‘fairytale’ type music which would then become horribly discordant and eventually finish with a harsh screeching sound with the bow dragged across the violin!

The text of the radio commercial describes how the main character’s relationship, job and life in general go horribly wrong – and this is where my playing had to go horribly wrong as well! What was interesting to myself, the engineer, the client and the scriptwriter was how difficult it is to play badly when you’ve spent over 30 years trying to make the violin sound beautiful. After practicing various ways and means of producing a truly appalling sound, I can honestly say that I’ve now got rather good at it although hopefully it won’t creep into other aspects of my playing!