I found her while searching for a piece by Julian Lloyd Webber. No, really, I did. You see, Mr. Webber once recorded a funky syncopated version of Paganini's Caprice No. 24, simply called “Variations” (it's a theme that flows through his brother's musical Song and Dance) and while I used to have a copy of it, the tape has long since disappeared.
Not that I even own a cassette player any more.
But I digress.
I was surfing eMusic.com when I found a violinist called Michi had recorded it. Admittedly, I saw the name and imagined some incredibly studious Asian prodigy. Instead, after following chains of links, I found a young woman from Colorado who fuses classical violin pieces with a Celtic and folk sensibility and also composes her own stuff, when she's not playing in bluegrass bands.
I was instantly entranced, and, since I still had 90 free downloads available, grabbed her whole album, Curved Space, and immediately added it both to my Napster list and my Zen.
I love her interpretation of the Paganini piece, but what I like even better are the Ukranian (I think) folk songs she's included in the collection of nineteen songs. She's a versatile player, switching from haunting allure to jaunty dance tunes laced with mischief on this disc, and would be a great introductory artist for people who think violin music is stuffy and boring. (Actually, my cello-bias has always made me feel that violins are too shrill, but she plays without any annoying shrillness at all.)
In her blogger profile, Regier refers to herself as a âœfiddle-in-istâ, and articles I found on the web intimate that she calls herself either a fiddler or a violinist depending on what she's playing at the moment. A true gypsy, she's played everywhere from Carnegie Hall, to the L'viv Philharmonie, to renaissance faires in Colorado, and performs reguarly in pubs and coffeehouses in the Denver area with the band DjypsyGrass.