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Well, happy new year folks!  It’s been a while.  Here’s the down low:

We played at the inaugural show of the Anna’s new DIY venue “elbo room” in Philly.  You can read about Anna’s sweet project, good plaids little lads, and see photos taken by Alex JOnes that evening here.

We’ve also received some blog press recently (many thanks to all!):

Circles of Concrete dedicated a post to us.
CastleQwayR gave us a little write-up that still has us blushing:

SODF reminds me of those passions and dreams that I have sadly felt myself drift far from with each unrequited passing year. What is it we so strongly desire, but is just beyond our reach? It could be grasped by force and therefore conquered, but that would cheapen it somehow. So we wait, and still wait. In the meantime, you may enjoy the often Renaissance and folk sounding melodies that flow freely from these four talented friends.

The Onion’s AV Club deemed us worthy of a “forehead slap” in their 2009: Year in Band Names.

Finally, we’re heading down to Fairfax, VA this weekend to record once more with the fabulous Fabakis Studios. Let’s hope we don’t get snowed in this time (as awesome as that was).  Stay tuned for updates…

Disciple of the old world as I am, I am ever conscious of the particularly contemporary venture of our little band. Until this project, my model of music making was anything but. My violin was crafted in 1867 by the Londoner Edward Panormo, a rather bad luthier better known for his guitars. The etudes drilled into my fingers; the techniques of vibrato, spiccato, legato, staccato; my stance and very arrangement of my limbs are all practices developed in prior centuries, not decades. The music I studied solo, in quartets, in orchestra was penned by men two, three hundred years ago, the most recent of the bunch – Bartok, Shostakovich – clocking in early last century. My very identity, my social role is consistent through the ages; playing the violin was a perfectly nice activity for a young lady of the nineteenth century.

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This quaint pastime has been yanked into the present. The change is physically manifest in the sheet of metal wedged into my bridge, connected by a rubber-encased wire to the pick up that grips the shoulder of my violin. Every performance and rehearsal, I insert a quarter-inch cable into the pick-up, an act of penetration that requires such force, albeit gentle, that I feel I am intruding into the body of the instrument, a violation. Electricity courses through our instruments, wires alter and amplify our motions and voices so our bodies become electronic and our art resides somewhere between neurons and the PA system. Read the rest of this entry »

A celebratory mocha latte for my troubles – a simple but weighty task accomplished. It shouldn’t have been so hard but it is: the resistance to completion. The fear of communication. The essential laziness. The shyness and sense of inadequacy in the face of all things musical.

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I first tried to install my pick-up (a Fishman V-200) without assistance. It was the first weekend of 2009; I had just moved to New York, the outside temperature was about 10 degrees, and amidst the stress of my brother in Israel, the back and forth to NYC, and the most recent version of “real life’s” start, I was sick. After bailing on the Saturday night plans early in the evening, I found myself a little lonely, a little feverish, and thought to console myself with productivity: the spanking new pick-up would be installed.

But how exactly does it work? Let’s see, I have to insert the “spring” into the “wing slot” of my bridge. What “spring”? I see no small coiled wire, perhaps if I just pinch this, no, I’ll just pull it to widen it a little – and SNAP, the copper “V” lies in two delicate planes of metal, reproachfully reflecting my bedroom’s overheard light. Read the rest of this entry »

For the second time this week, I am struggling across New York City with a dangerously unwieldy piece of musical equipment.

The first time was Saturday, when Anna and I met at Guitar Center to purchase a long-anticipated keyboard. We’ve been playing on a shoddy Casio with keys that bounced back like overzealous bed springs; not enough resistance for comfort. After much banging on store models, we landed on yet another Casio: the CDP-100 armed with only a few bells and whistles, but in possession of 88 firm and gleaming keys. From here on out, only the keyboardist (me) can be blamed for the botched arpeggio, the chord that sounds false. And so Emily – who was gracious enough to help even during her city holiday – and I made the hundred-plus block pilgrimage north, taking turns with the packaged keyboard, which swung maniacally at fellow pedestrians like a cardboard sarcophagus with a death drive. Read the rest of this entry »