You might be wondering how the name for this record came about. Honestly, it took a while for me to settle on it – I had a couple of good ideas, but upon googling them, discovered that someone else had unfortunately had the same good idea before me! I was searching for something that encapsulated the essence of the program, and the title ‘a string mysterious’ finally came to me one morning at the same moment I envisioned the image that became the album art – it was one of those flashes of inspiration that we’re lucky enough to sometimes experience.
There are two meanings behind the name. Firstly, you can see the pieces on the program as beads on string, similar to a mala or a rosary – the idea that the can be used for contemplation, either individually or as a set, spoke to me. Like beads of this kind, their meaning and purpose change depending on experience of the person through whose fingers they pass. Secondly, the baroque violin itself is a somewhat mysterious element in this program – Biber’s use of the technique of scordatura, where the strings are mis-tuned, changes the voice of the instrument and makes it something of a mysterious beast to play, while the contemporary pieces give the instrument new vocabulary and expression.
Because of the way the inspiration for the title came about, I’m curious to discover whether other meanings will reveal themselves to me. I loved to hear from one person, who told me that it struck them as a pun – as in, the ‘A’ string is mysterious, but what about the D?! What does ‘a string mysterious’ say to you?