In her music video for the song ‘Waves”, Anne is a mermaid—a mix of the sea and land. Two worlds are also inhabited by her music. Land lovers might think of violin for black tie orchestras or casual bluegrass, but her handling of the instrument opens up a whole world of music, deep and vast. With heavy chops and a lace-like delicacy, her playing exudes the mystery of a fairytale. It’s a world where she shares a clairvoyant ability to tap into emotion with her own personal expression on violin. Like a mermaid, she encapsulates multiple worlds in her playing, and grabs our imagination.

Violin has “an incredible range of emotional expression; much like the human voice.” – Anne Harris

“The violin has a rich, storied history in a myriad of genres. I trained classically but always had very eclectic musical tastes, so I think thank my sound reflects the sounds I’m inspired by,” says Anne.

Anne has released her own albums, most recently Come Hither on her own Rugged Road label. She also works as a sidewoman, adding her style across genres. She appreciates Chicago’s diversity, from blues to a sonic landscape with soul, jazz, classical, Irish, house, rock, hip hop to name just a few. This carries into her playing as she helps expand the image of the violin, encouraging others to view the instrument in a more expansive way.

“I love collaboration because the sum is always greater than its parts. Being in the presence of others opens me up creatively in ways I never could dream when working solo,” adds Anne.

Beyond genre, Harris also uses gear to make new sounds. “Playing thru different pedals to alter my sound just opens up new possible creative directions, so I love having different kinds of colors to paint with, so to speak. This can help inspire new ideas.”

“As long as we’re living, we are hopefully growing and evolving with consciousness…my art is simply a reflection of my journey of growth.”

Anne sees music as a journey for the listener, and also sings, writes lyrics and is stretching her fins with the mandolin. “If my playing has a positive effect on a listener, than I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to lift the vibration a little thru music. The mandolin has the same voicing of strings as the violin and I wanted to learn a chordal instrument to aid in my writing, so that’s why I began playing it.”

To hear her in action, we recommend the very first song on Come Hither; “Broken” is entirely sounds created on the fiddle, with the exception of the bass and rhythm tracks. There are wails and cries, and a distorted solo that sounds like an electric guitar. Throughout that record, Anne created all sorts of different textures and sounds that create beds for the tunes. The title track features Chuck Campbell on pedal steel and is also all fiddle, again with the exception of bass and percussion.

For fellow string players, Harris recommends Ken Stein Violins in Elmhurst. See Anne’s website for the latest news, blog and tour info.

Photo Credits: Roman Sobus
Article by: Hannah Frank
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