Lindsey Stirling has come a long way since stepping into mainstream media consciousness on America’s Got Talent. There, with only 90 seconds to perform at a time, she was viewed as a novelty act (Lindsey Stirling, the “hip hop violinist”) and nothing more. The judges did not like her quarterfinals performance, with Piers Morgan giving her an X and no positive reviews from the other judges.
Amazing what a difference not having a slow monkey on the sound board makes for live instrumental performances to backing tracks. This is what that performance could have sounded like.
And they say that America’s Got Talent favors music acts.
Lindsey Stirling is now a YouTube sensation. Her videos typically get over 1,000,000 views very quickly. She creates beautiful arrangements and matches them up with interesting video concepts. Her most popular video is “Crystallize,” an original dubstep composition that puts everything Lindsey was trying to show off on America’s Got Talent into focus.
It’s a beautiful composition that blends well with all the arrhythmic calling cards of dubstep. Stirling clearly understands how music is put together. She’s also part of a small but growing group of young violinists all around the world who are not satisfied with standing still in front of an orchestra. In the strictest venues, moving around at all (let alone dancing) would be considered a provocative and controversial act.
Lindsey Stirling’s niche is quickly becoming geek culture. Her Legend of Zelda and Skyrim videos were covered by a number of nerd-friendly blogs and her Zelda Medley was even used in the 2012 Olympic Games.
It’s hard to choose just one video as a favorite, but I’ve been replaying Lindsey Stirling’s excellent reworking of “Phantom of the Opera” a lot. It shows off the full range of what she does. There’s a narrative story woven into a well known song splitting time with live performance footage, dancing and all. It’s the distillation of what Stirling does and it’s enchanting.
Lindsey Stirling will be releasing her debut album on 18 September. It consists of 10 original tracks, including “Crystallize.” This is probably the best way for her to go. She can gain fans on YouTube with the elaborate and pop culture savvy cover videos and then parlay it into album sales of original (see: not mechanically licensed, cheaper to produce and distrbute) music in the same genre. It’s smart, is what it is.
Thoughts on Lindsey Stirling? I think she’s really grown into a unique performer and I look forward to hearing her debut album in two weeks. What about you? Sound off below.