Sarah Foard at Glen Echo’s Creek
Quotidian Theatre Company presents the US premiere of Conor McPherson’s The Veil, now through August 17.
Violinist and Fiddler Sarah Foard Creates Her Own Sound for The Veil
My violin instructor at the Levine School of Music, Sarah Foard, is not only the best violin teacher I have ever had, but an accomplished fiddle player who plays professionally with the Sligo Creek Stompers and other groups. Since beginning work with her a few years ago, she has been very kind to find the time in her busy schedule to perform with QTC, first in James Joyce’s The Dead as “the red-wigged fiddler,” the nickname she aptly came up with for her character, and most recently, at QTC’s May fundraiser with the other members of the Sligo Creek Stompers.
Sarah Foard (L) in James Joyce’s The Dead
So, when QTC wanted original renditions of standard Irish tunes for The Veil, I once again turned to Sarah, who worked her magic to create the haunting melodies we were seeking. I asked Sarah to write a couple of paragraphs about her process…
The music chosen for The Veil is an array of haunting and powerful Irish ballads. I was quite excited to learn this new repertoire on the violin and have the opportunity take the pieces to new places through the recordings used in Quotidian Theatre Company’s production.
For several of the pieces, I recorded multiple tracks, layering drones* and original harmonies under the melody. This gives the music an orchestral sound, yet because of the drones it maintains its roots in the Irish tradition. In the song “Fanny Power,” I used a theme-and-variation approach, and in “Lament for O’Donnell” and “The Coulin”, I decided to play them a cappella with only the melody voice and no harmonies, giving the songs a lonely and sparse feel.
*In music, a drone is a harmonic or monophonic effect or accompaniment where a note or chord is continuously sounded throughout most or all of a piece.
You can hear and purchase the soundtrack to The Veil here.
Sarah’s stunning rendition of “Trip to Sligo/Sligo Creek/Sligo Maid” is here.
Sign up to take lessons with Sarah at either the Levine School or her Arlington-based studio, L’Adore.
Quotidian Theatre Company presents the U.S. premiere production of
by Conor McPherson
July 18 – August 17, 2014
The New York Times calls Conor McPherson “the finest playwright of his generation”. Set in a haunted mansion in rural Ireland in 1822, surrounded by a restive, starving populace, The Veil weaves Ireland’s troubled colonial history into a transfixing story about the search for love, the transcendental, and the circularity of time.
Featuring Christine Alexander, Michael Avolio, Jane Squier Bruns, John Decker, Steve LaRocque, Chelsea Mayo, Stephanie Mumford, and Michele Osherow. Directed by Jack Sbarbori.
All performances are held at The Writer’s Center: 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD. The venue is a short walk from the Bethesda Metro Station. There is free parking on Saturdays and Sundays.
Tickets are $30, or $25 for seniors and students, and can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets.
Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm, with one additional 2pm performance on Saturday, August 16.
Subscribers, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-816-1023 for reservations.
From left: Michele Osherow, Jane Squier Bruns, Stephanie Mumford, John Decker, and Steve LaRocque in The Veil. Photograph by St. Johnn Blondell.