Tuesday, 10 October 2006

Subharmonics: violin an octave lower!

I heard from a recent(ish) New Scientist that a New York violinist, Mari Kimura, can get notes one octave lower than normal out of a violin's G string using a special technique she discovered (it's easier or better with older, more used strings), in other words she can get cello-like sounds out of a violin. She's called this "subharmonics".

I found Mari Kimura's webpage (new page, old page for historical interest) and had a listen to some MP3 excerpts from pieces she's composed to demonstrate subharmonics, where you can hear those interesting octave-below sounds, e.g. Caprice for Subharmonic 3rd (there are a few more extracts on that webpage), and she's even produced a CD of her subharmonic works. (UPDATED for Mari's note about the URL change, thanks Mari!)



Mark said...

I had the good fortune to stumble onto a performance by Vinny Golia in Los Angeles this spring at
"Machine Project" studio/gallery. He stretches octaves with wind instruments. It was incredible watching (and listening) to him play intruments both rare and common.

Improbulus said...

Interesting, thanks Mark, would love to have heard that.

Anonymous said...

Hi, it's Mari Kimura here:

I just found this blog by chance, about my technique. Thanks a lot!

One thing, I have moved my URL to:


The old NYU one hasn't been updated for nearly a year now.

Thanks again for your interest!