Described as “The newest and most promising voices in Americana” by NPR, 10 String Symphony is a collaboration between Grammy-nominated fiddle player Christian Sedelmyer and acclaimed songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Baiman.
Date: Fri 4th June | 8pm
The newest and most promising voices in Americana” NPR, All Songs Considered
Christian Sedelmyer fiddle, vocals
Rachel Baiman fiddle, banjo, vocals
Take ten strings, add two compelling voices and one shared sense of social justice, and what you’ve got is a dynamic and quietly authoritative duo in the best tradition of Guthrie and Seeger.
Christian Sedelmyer and Rachel Baiman are artists firmly rooted in the old-timey Americana tradition, but with musical explorations that carry them fearlessly into the present moment, creating songs and sound worlds that are immediate and compelling. These are musicians whose prime inspiration is our world and how we live in it. Through their musicianship, they engage with life, art, nature, and global challenges in ways that are variously warm, humorous, and thought-provoking. They are champions of change, and though just two in number, their impact is massively amplified by their brilliant use of technology and skillful arrangements. These are truly musicians of our time.
An unassumingly intriguing record… something out of the ordinary” – FolkRoots
“Honouring timeless traditions with respectful acknowledgement and creative innovation” Folk Alley
“They do things with fiddles you wouldn’t expect” NPR All Songs Considered “The Newest and Most Promising Voices in Americana”
“…a dynamic musical stew that covers a wide spectrum of acoustic-based roots music, hitting on old-time, folk and bluegrass, all delivered with a dash of rock and roll spunk.”
American Songwriter Magazine
“When each song ended, the two pressed tight into their microhphones, savoring the last strains of the harmony – and even the bartenders seemed to be leaning forward breathlessly, awaiting someone to clap first. Their self titled recording aptly demonstrates the power of a spare, tightly-connected acoustic performance that is given room to evolve – for bluegrass fans, the lightning fast harmonic runs on dueling fiddle is worth the price of admission alone. But it’s the off-road experiments, especially from Christian’s biting bow strokes that will make future audiences take note.”
The Bluegrass Situation
“…Stirring together Old-Time flavors with the broader range of influences brought by an omnivorous musical appetite”
The Nashville Scene
“Really, really beautiful.”
Ricky Ross, BBC Scotland
10 String Symphony:
Named for their unique instrumentation of two five-string fiddles alternated with a five-string banjo, 10 String Symphony is the collaboration between GRAMMY-nominated fiddle player Christian Sedelmyer (The Jerry Douglas Band), and acclaimed songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Baiman. Since their inception in 2012, the duo has gained the attention of NPR’s Jewly Hight, who listed them among “The Newest and Best Voices in Americana” for their unique and compelling vocal and string arrangements, which are at once traditionally informed yet completely avant-garde. Their album, Generation Frustration, produced by Scotland’s Kris Drever, digs even deeper into the potential for experimentation with stringed instruments while highlighting new depths in the pair’s original songwriting. Unafraid of pushing boundaries, the resulting songs are as challenging as they are beautiful.
It’s been an exciting couple years for Baiman and Sedelmyer, both individually and collaboratively. Having gained a reputation for string arrangements in Nashville, 10 String Symphony’s unique sound has been enlisted for albums by Kelsey Waldon, Caroline Spence, Special Consensus, and Missy Raines, as well for live strings with Kacey Musgraves at the Ryman Auditorium. Their tour schedule has included stops in Hong Kong and Australia as well as opening slots for Sarah Jarosz and Sierra Hull. Sedelmyer spent the better part of 2017 touring with Jerry Douglas and recording on his new album What If, which culminated in a GRAMMY nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. Baiman released a politically charged solo album, Shame, which was featured on Noisey and NPR’s Song’s We Love, and took her on tour around the country, including a stop at The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, and numerous shows opening for Mandolin Orange. Time spent working together and apart influenced the direction of the duo’s new recording, which reaches new heights of maturity in sound and depth.
Well versed in a variety of fiddle traditions including Old-Time, Bluegrass, Scottish and Canadian styles, Rachel Baiman is a versatile and dynamic fiddle player. Rachel is a winner of the Midwestern Fiddle Championships as well as a two-time winner of the Illinois State fiddle Championship and a second-place winner of the 2012 Nashville Grand Masters Fiddle Championship in the “Traditional Styles” category. Her love for folk and acoustic music inspired a move to Nashville in 2008, where she earned degrees in Music and Anthropology at Vanderbilt University. In Nashville, she formed 5-string fiddle duo 10 String Symphony, with fellow fiddle player Christian Sedelmyer (of the Jerry Douglas Band). The pair continue to explore and innovate with duo fiddle arrangements for songs and tunes, their most recent album is produced by the great Kris Drever of LAU. She has toured extensively throughout the United States with 10 String Symphony, as well as with her own band, and has appeared at such festivals as Pickathon, ROMP, The Strawberry Music Festival, Merlefest and Blissfest, as well as International Festivals La Roche Bluegrass Festival (France), the Fringe Festival (Scotland), the Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival (Australia), The Auckland Folk Festival (New Zealand), and the ArtisTree Festival (Hong Kong). 10 String Symphony won IBMA’s Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year award for their collaboration with Special Consensus and Allison Brown.
Rachel Baiman’s June 2017 label debut Shame was featured on NPR’s “Songs We Love”, called a “Rootsy Wake-up Call” by Folk Alley, and described by Vice’s “Noisey” as “flipping off authority one song at a time”. Baiman’s Thanksgiving is an intriguing follow up to Shame, allowing her a chance to stretch out stylistically, moving effortlessly between bluegrass, to folk, old-time and country. The bittersweet lyricism she’s become known for conveys the push and pull of hardship and hope often felt during the holiday season.
Christian Sedelmyer is a daring and diversified musician who brings a 21st century vision to the four and five-string violin. He’s a Nashville fiddler who creatively balances the bluegrass and old-time traditions with the innovative freedom of his heroes Vassar Clements, John Hartford and Stuart Duncan. He’s an outstanding improvising instrumentalist who can soar and thrill in any style, including a recent Grammy-nominated jazz fusion album with Jerry Douglas. Since making a name with The Farewell Drifters in the early 2010s, Sedelmyer has been called on to be part of some of the edgiest and highest caliber instrumental projects of his time, and he’s offered deft musical support to some of today’s finest songwriters.
In 2012, he shifted focus to 10 String Symphony, a duo with fiddler/banjo player and songwriter Rachel Baiman. Conceived as a side experiment, the project lifted off with two charting albums and bookings in France, the UK, New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong.
Sedelmyer has performed with the world’s leading acoustic musicians in festival sets at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Telluride Bluegrass Festival and elsewhere. Even more indicative of his stature as a modern bluegrass player are the special collaborations for which he’s been tapped. That includes the 2018 recording of the classic fiddle tune Squirrel Hunters by Special Consensus, which won the IBMA Award for Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year, and the Reunion set at 2018’s MerleFest with Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Bryan Sutton and Mark Schatz, the most distinguished instrumentalists of the last 40 years.
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10 String Symphony: Twitter: @10ssymphony | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/10StringSymphony | Instagram: @10ssymphony
Rachel Baiman: Twitter: @RachelBaiman | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rachelbaimanmusic | Instagram: @rachelbaiman
Christian Sedelmyer: Twitter: @csedelmyer | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christiansedelmyer | Instagram: @christiansedelmyer