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Viola in June


It’s rather quite fun how even when Viola are doing a new thing every month and focusing on individual things, the works under the Viola Music Club years still seem to slot under particular characteristics. Or rather, there’s an element of progression in each year. 2009, the debut year of VMC, was a collection of very Viola-esque tunes. 2010 then saw the duo seemingly realise the potential of their chosen approach to writing and releasing music and as a result, last year’s VMC songs had a fair share of quirky little stylistic sidepaths and is a very varied bag, although one with still a clear Viola stamp to it. 2011 goes even further in that same direction and it seems like this year Viola have been driven to do something out of the blue and completely new each month: so far we’ve had a storming dance thumper, a low-key acoustic ballad, a dub-steppy thingy, schlager and 80s synthpop. A new turn into new frontiers each month, turning the free-form nature of the project into a chance to do whatever the creators’ whims tell them to do. It’s rather fun.

Now we can add an orchestral piece to that: Viola (or just Riku, if we’re nitpicky) backed by six violas and nothing else. I’ve always found a more ‘stripped-down’ strings approach more dramatic than their big and bombastic full orchestra cousins, and there’s a rather lovely sense of grand drama and aching to “Heartstring Theory” thanks to the brilliantly arranged strings. I’d love to say that it reminds me of the (fantastic) soundtrack to Arcanum in its tragic nature but I’m not sure if that’s genuinely a valid comparison or if it’s just an easy, lazy line drawn between two string quartet (well, sextet in this song’s case) works. In any case, they suit Viola and the June 2011 addition to the ever-expanding VMC is another noteworthy stylistic experiment.

DL: Heartstring Theory



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