From north to south, music unites an invisible republic

Behind the Republic of String is the idea of a global nation of string players, that transcents the constrains of borders, culture or language.

“This community [of acoustic string players] is worldwide, and we all know people all over the world, and that’s the beauty of music, that it connects people,” said fiddle player Darol Anger.

“You can sit down with a fiddle player pretty much anywhere in the world and find something to play.”

It’s this idea that brings the band to the tiny hamlet of Araluen. 

The final booking on their first ever Australian tour, Anger had heard about 

“I believe that you guys have a small but very important population of string players in Araluen,” Anger said.

Anger began the Republic of Strings several years ago. After several years in the Turtle Island String Quartet, which focused largely on jazz, rock and classical hybrids, he wanted to return to his folksy roots. 

He began the group with musicians he knew, and younger musicians he had met at fiddle camp.

Teaching at Berkley College of Music, he sees a constant stream of talented young fiddle players. 

The group is currently made up of singer-songwriter Emy Phelps and cellist Tristan Clarridge, who Anger describes as “one of the most virtuosic string musicians to ever grace this planet.”

At Araluen, they will be playing a range of folk songs, interspersed with ‘60s classics and distinctive original songs written by Phelps.

It will be an “eclectic” mix, says Anger, falling broadly under the banner of ‘Americania’. In a nation of immigrants however, this is a broad church with the music’s background coming from as far afield as Northern Europe, South America, and everything in between.

  • Republic of Strings will perform at the Araluen Federal Hall on Friday January 10 from 6:30pm, tickets are available here

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