Livewire Electric was created to bridge the gap between classical and contemporary music for string players through the introduction of improvisation, contemporary/world music genres and using technology in music. Livewire Electric inspires students to see music in an open minded, fun and expressive way. Students quickly feel a connection between the music they enjoy listening to at home and the music they can then explore playing on their instrument and start to incorporate alongside their classical study. It is also an effective path in introducing students to the possibilities that extend beyond the orchestra as a professional musician.
Led by violinist Willow Stahlut and joined onstage by drummer Linden Lester, the pair start with a performance to demonstrate a variety of sounds, styles and techniques using a loop station to build one instrument into an orchestra and effects pedals to turn the violin into a sub bass, filtering guitar or psychedelic synth.
'The students were astounded at the complexity of sounds Livewire Electric produced and the way the music cleverly and yet naturally evolved. The actual violin sound itself was warm and mellow and just beautiful to listen to. Then Willow wowed the students with her virtuosic improvised fast runs!'
Shelley Heath, Yarra Valley Grammar School
Following the performance, Willow and Linden work with small groups to workshop ideas demonstrated in the performance. The workshops are suitable for any playing level and are tailored to meet each groups needs. Regardless of skill level each student has the opportunity to try improvising, creating a basic live looped composition and playing an electric/amplified instrument.
'Following the concert Willow conducted a workshop with the students where she introduced a simple looping routine. The students were inspired and enthusiastic to take the concept in their own hands and develop it. Willows gentle way of relating to the students and her encouraging remarks added to a successful day and we look forward to welcoming Livewire Electric back in the near future.'
Shelley Heath, Yarra Valley Grammar School
Schools have the option of choosing a key focus area relating directly to the school music syllabus for each workshop or choosing a general workshop which covers areas 1 - 5 (and 6 if the students are VCE/HSC level.)
Options are;
  1. Improvisation
  2. Music from other cultures
  3. Original composition
  4. Use of technology in music
  5. Learning how to play in a band
  6. VCE/HSC performance
    'The dream for music educators everywhere should be for every student to have the widest possible exposure to all kinds of music. They already have the best of pop and rock thanks to the media but with people like Willow Stahlut they will be exposed to the many amazing sounds of bowed stringed instruments. Willow has access to the most cutting edge instruments made by local instrument maker Paul Davies. Electric, semi-acoustic and acoustic instruments where anything is possible. This opportunity is so wonderful for school kids to see that the violin is not only something which belongs in the conservative Victorian era symphonic setting. With this introduction it is possible for students to become retrospectively interested in the Classical world from the point of view of how relevant it is today – film, TV, musicals, orchestrations for pop, indie and jazz artists - all of this must start in the school system and Willow Stahlut is making this possible with her approach to education. Music is a very strong part of our culture in all forms and it would be a shame to lose this in our country. I wholeheartedly recommend Livewire Electric.'
    Sarah Curro, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
A TYPICAL DAY WITH LIVEWIRE ELECTRIC Morning session (45 minutes, usually before recess) - Performance (Suitable for small groups through to the whole school) Workshop 1 (45 minutes, usually between recess and lunch) - beginner group Workshop 2 (45 minutes, usually between recess and lunch) - intermediate group Workshop 3 (45 minutes, usually after lunch) - advanced group Workshop 4 (45 minutes,usually after lunch) - VCE group
The above is a sample day with Livewire Electric. We can run a performance and up to four workshops in a school day. The day usually starts in the second teaching session (giving us time to set up during the first teaching session) and runs through until the end of the school day. We are very flexible and are happy to work with you to organise an ideal programme for your school, whether it means just coming in for a performance or planning an entire day! We can also provide a PA and electric instruments if your school does not have access to these. Get in touch via the form below if you would like to discuss Livewire Electric visiting your school!