Stephane Grappelli introduced the violin to swing jazz. Jean Luc Ponty added an electric violin with an extra string in rock and fusion groups. Songwriters like Andrew Belle utilize effect pedals and the art of ‘looping’ with the instrument, recording it live to create multi-layered sounds with just one musician.
These artists and innovators are what led David Gerald Sutton to pursue the life of a musician and continue asking the question, “What else can a violin do?” Studying the instrument since the age of 10, David grew up well-versed in classical and jazz genres. Moving from Illinois to Minnesota to study at McNally Smith College of Music, looping and effects became a vital part of his playing and the ideas began to take shape in the realm of pop music. Graduating in 2013, David took his inspirations and combined, refined, and twisted them to work together into a beautiful symphony of sound.
Finding his sound gave David the inspiration to create his upcoming album, ‘Here I Remain’. The album leads in with soft string layers, slowly building into the driving pulse of the first song and, likewise, the rest of the record. Inspired by the music of MuteMath and Tycho, songs like ‘Organized Chaos’ pay homage to David’s inspirations and take it into his own sound. Others, like ‘Surrender’, feel like they were taken from a film soundtrack. The hopeful anthemic melody of ‘Rise and Fall’ will remain with you throughout your day, and ’Now I See’ is sure to get listeners dancing in their cars and homes.
“The album isn’t just about having a collection of songs to release or to tell my story,” says David, “but to create something more like a mirror; a world of sound that you can reflect your life onto and make part of your story. So many people have powerful connections to music, and if my music brings them joy, reminds them of sad moments, or gives them hope for the future, then I’m truly humbled to be a musician that can do that for others.” The emotions David’s writing creates still translate clearly to the listener.
So, what else can a violin do? It can sound like a cello and an electric guitar. It can sound like a symphony and a pop concert. It can evoke thoughtful emotions and nostalgic memories. Most of all, it can bring people together, and that’s what David Gerald Sutton is hoping to do.