Rachel Barton Pine's new album Blues Dialogues is part of a life-long project for the violinist, who grew up in Chicago listening to the blues, as much as classical music.
"The blues is almost like my native indigenous music. I just kind of grew up with the Blues in the air being a native Chicagoan. Whether it was my parents old records or, the Blues Fest and radio shows... It's just something that that I feel like is in my blood and feels like coming home and so I've been really excited over the years to kind of discover and collect various classical music that has that particular genre as one of its roots, and it's really fun to just see the variety of ways that composers have made a dialogue between the blues and classical."
For Barton Pine, though, it's more than just recording an album. She's dedicated her work to making the music more available to musicians at every stage of development.
"At this point, I've collected more than 900 works by more than 350 men and women from around the world from the 1700s to the present day. And this has resulted in our coloring book of 40 black composers, our timeline poster of 300, and our first volume for beginning violinists that just got released and many more to come but we also have resources on our Music by Black Composers website with reading lists, information and a living composers directory of more than a hundred and seventy composers."
Advocating for composers who are largely unknown means digging and searching, and finding many surprises along the way.
"I could tell that it was really cool, but I couldn't possibly it was to the the handwriting was to scribbly and the music was too complex for me to be able to practice it from the page. So I had to wait all these years and finally was able to get it entered into the computer and engraved, and it turned out to be even more cool than I had imagined and it's that one's been a real revelation".
Rachel Barton Pine's Blues Dialogues is our Featured Album this week. You can also check it out here: