Siri Bardarson recorded in Whidbey AIR’s studio with Mary Rose Anderson and Annie Zeller Horton on Isle of the Arts.
Each day is a new adventure and I have only scratched the surface with my electric cello playing. I am the luckiest person in the world! – Siri Bardarson
I moved to Whidbey Island in 1991 and, needing a job, I advertised myself as a cello and guitar teacher. I was actually doing very little playing at that point although still singing with a band in Seattle in a cabaret setting. I got a pile of students and connected with Linda Good who was looking for a partner/teacher with her Island Strings program. We worked together for ten years and founded the Island Strings Summer Music Camp that met for many happy summers at Greenbank Farm. Through Island Strings and my private teaching, I met many, many kids and grown ups, all of whom I consider my fellow musicians. I always say, I love hanging with the musicians and I don’t care how old they are!
In the mid-90s, Michael Nutt [a KWPA Whidbey AIR founder] and a cadre of retired LA Philharmonic musicians came to Whidbey Island. Saratoga Chamber Orchestra was founded. I was lucky to play in a variety of exciting programs that Michael spearheaded and music on South Whidbey got an incredible boost from his presence. Leah Burns came to the island in time to grab the baton from Michael and the Saratoga orchestra became a regular season entity. I played with them off and on over the years.
My cello remained bound up in the conventional classical music role until 1993 when Randy Hudson, Linda Morris and Devon Ossman asked me to join No band Is an Island. This was a very inventive and creative endeavor. We played a lot of original material that had strange and difficult arrangements. I started to translate all my chord knowledge from my guitar playing to the cello, lots of pizzicato and strumming. I discovered I knew tons about vocal harmonies from all the singing and the biggest discovery was that I can sing and play the cello at the same time. I don’t see hardly anyone doing that. We had a sell out WICA show in January 1994 and that was a peak experience for me. I have worked in public education these last 11 years to raise my boy but I am thrilled to be taking a leave this year to devote to my creative life. Each day is a new adventure and I have only scratched the surface with my electric cello playing. I am the luckiest person in the world! – Siri Bardarson
The electric cello is a type of cello that relies on electronic amplification (rather than acoustic resonance) to produce sound. An acoustic cello can be fitted with a bridge or body mounted contact pickup providing an electric signal, or a built-in pickup can be installed. A few pickups work by other principles like magnetic coil guitar type needing steel strings to work, or by an unusual pickup system employing the string itself as a linear pickup element, thus avoiding any modification of tone-producing parts on an acoustic cello.