The power of the violin is astounding, it can carry the weight of words and evokes emotion that words may not even express. It creates a sound that carries a sense of ambiguity, open to interpretation and fuels off emotion carrying the listener through an unspoken narrative. A seasoned musician that ticks all the boxes above is multi-award winning electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling. Championing an incredible talent she is curating her own lane as a musician, her creativity seamlessly blends into other avenues including mesmerising music videos as well as music that relays an incredible story.
Having just released her gripping album ‘Artemis’ and graced the stage in London for her performance at London’s Eventim Apollo, I had the chance to speak and delve into the world of Lindsey Stirling. Marking her fifth studio album Artemis contains many levels, from the depth of the music to the depth of the story, her project is powerful. Drawing inspiration from anime, her project unveils the story of Artemis, who in ancient Greek mythology serves as the goddess of the moon, who represents great strength. Shining a light on the concept behind the project Lindsey explained:
‘The inspiration for the album came from light and dark and the struggle that all of us face with finding light in our lives and facing darkness that exists in all of our lives. I was really inspired by the fact that the moon brings light into darkness – Whether it shows up as a full-moon or a tiny slither it comes to bring light to night. No matter how many time it gets covered over in shadow, it fights to be full of light again – and I thought that was such a beautiful metaphor for how we all go through times of shadow in our own lives and we keep fighting through it to try and find our light and our happiness and hope. I thought it was such a beautiful metaphor and then I was even more inspired when I found out that ‘Artemis’ was the goddess of the moon.’
‘I love that she’s also goddess of the hunt because she’s always shown with a bow and arrow and I was like ‘oh my gosh – that’s me. I show up with my violin and a bow.’ She’s like the protector of fertility and virtue and I think she so strongly represents what it means to be a strong woman. Not only was I inspired to write an album from the concept, but I was also inspired to write a comic book – so it was really fun to write the two of them together.’
The multi-dimensional premise of the album explores a lot of different topics and it draws parallels into her own life.
‘The main character is very much based on me and my likeness and personality but also the struggles that I’ve faced through my life to believe in myself and find my own light. She begins the story feeling like she doesn’t have much to offer and she has to find her own light and in my own way I’ve had to find my own joy and happiness and really fight for it as a result of going through my own struggles with anorexia and depression.’
‘There were times when I really didn’t think I had anything to offer the world and likewise, the goddess character speaks to her through dreams and inspires her. To me, that’s symbolic of how I feel like I have angels that guide me. I feel like my dad and my best friend, who both passed away, guide me all the time and I pray for them to guide me and help me. The goddess character symbolises the way I view my relationship with my angels, the way she guides the main character.’
Her thirteen track project, which also features collaborations with Amy Lee on ‘Love Goes On and On’ and Elle King ‘The Upside’ opens with the mesmerising spine-tingling track ‘Underground’, which has already has exceeded over seven million views on YouTube and eight million streams. The visuals effortlessly mirror the raw emotion and creativity that exudes from the track but as the project as a whole. Her futuristic and alluring music video is instantly captivating and will leave you in awe from the moment you press play.
‘The video is just meant to represent how we all face different limits and limitations and feel stuck in our own ways at times. By the end of the video all the characters get slightly connected and are able to break free from their situations.’
Her album is a pure example of how she’s gone from strength to strength and with it being her fifth album I asked how she felt her sound has developed over years.
‘I think I’m a better writer. Before the first album I wrote, I had never written before. Of course, there’s some magic that’s special to that first album because I was so free and I was expressing myself without judgment because no one knew what was coming, no one knew who I was. I wasn’t judging it too harshly; I was creating to create. There’s a certain magic to that first album and then I got “better” at writing and learning how to better capture my sound and honing in on both the violin and electronics.’
‘Also, it’s funny because sometimes you circle back to the beginning. After everything I’ve learned, everything I’ve done and the way I’ve tried to push the boundaries of my own art – this album, particularly, I really wanted to go back to the beginning. I tried to channel “what would Lindsey on her first album do”, how would she write. I wanted to attempt to capture some of the magic that’s on that first album, and I think I did a really good job of putting myself in that place and I think you feel that on the album.’
Becoming a violinist wasn’t a coincidence and her love for the instrument developed from her parents who loved classical music, not only was it played around the house, they’d also go to orchestra concerts.
‘I picked up the violin because my parents loved classical musical music and played it at home…sometimes we’d go to see orchestra concerts. I just remembered the violinists always got the solos and it was always obvious that the violin was a huge part of the orchestra so in my mind it was like the Taylor Swift of what I grew up listening to. So I begged for violin lessons when I was 6 years old. My musical influences are everything from classical musicians to John Williams, I had his best hits album and it was my favourite album when I was a teenager, to Amy Lee from Evanescence to Skrillex who inspired me to do dubstep. I just have really vast, very different musical influences and I think that’s why I have a very eclectic sound.’
Her music pays homage to her eclectic taste and you can hear the undertones of dubstep merge effortlessly classical music. She creates her own niche as she combines the worlds of multiple genres. Her passion for her art has allowed her to travel all across Europe over the last couple of months, where she has performed in Italy, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, as well as England for her London date.
‘The show was so fun – we loved the London show. It was the last show of a 27-date tour. We’ve been over here (Europe) for 6 weeks with rehearsals and everything and that was our last hurrah. The show was magical, I was really proud of this show that we created and that we’ve taken across Europe and it was the perfect way to end. I mediate before the show I warm up extensively on the violin and then I stretch. We always say a team prayer together, my dancers, band, crew and then we do a little chant that we sing before every show – it’s very strange but it’s something we’ve always done. Then we all get pumped up and go on stage.’
As we are winding towards the end of the year Lindsey has a lot great things planned for the rest of 2019 and into the next year.
‘We’re about to start our Christmas tour so we’re all going home for 3 weeks and then we start another tour which I’m super excited about. I’ve got a few more music videos I’m going to make before the end of the year. For 2020, we’ve still got the rest of the world to take the ‘Artemis’ tour to and then I’m going to keep working on my Broadway musical which will someday come out.’
Photographer Lee and Arthur
Styling Zane Page
Makeup Artist Ellie Morries
Hair Daniel Dyer
Styling Assistant Maya Potishman