NS Design Artist Trevor Dick and his friends partnered together to help ease our quarantine blues with “The Quaran-tune” with Trevor Dick – CR5 Electric Violin (electric violin); Johnny Nixon (electric guitar & keys); Rob Brown (drums); Jake Payne (piano) and Tim Ball (bass & keys).
Enjoy the music and read the cool story connected with how these musicians made this tune and video happen…
On behalf of our worldwide community of NS Artists, Ned and the NS Design team take this moment to recognize all musicians for their power to sustain, transport and heal in tumultuous times. Your music is vital to our well-being, and we are profoundly grateful.
Please enjoy, share, and find inspiration in these videos. We’ll endeavor to share more with you in the weeks to come.
NS Artist Laurie Anderson visited San Francisco last week as Resident Artistic Director at SF JAZZ Center for a four-night performance series. Anderson, who plays the NS CR electric violin, shared the stage on night one with her NYC Improvisations Series collaborators – virtuoso bassist Christian McBride and cellist (NS Artist) Rubin Kodheli; night two included the strings duet of Kodheli again, with Anderson; the third evening also included Kodheli with the addition of avant-garde vocalist Mike Patton, of Mr. Bungle and Faith No More; night four featured Anderson’s solo performance with her NS violin, keyboards, and filters. Continue reading…
The NAMM Show 2020 Ultimate Jam Night is a concert that brings all the legendary and top musicians of the world to play music together on one stage. This year’s stellar performances included NS Artists Quartet405 with violinists Eliza James and Rebecca Schlappich Charles, violist Jayna Chou, and cellist Danica Pinner rockin’ their NXTa’s! Check out the amazing photographs of the show taken by NS Artist Noor Che’ree of Cookie Monstah Media.
Here is your IBMA 2019 World of Bluegrass Conference and Awards Recap!
NS Design attended and exhibited at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) World of Bluegrass Expo, Booth #315. Many NS Artists, friends and fans stopped in to say hello to NS National Sales Manager Tommy Wilson and NS Artist Relations Manager Corey Redonnett, who showcased a variety of NS instruments for attendees to plug in and pick, pluck, bow and strum! The Expo ran from Wednesday, September 24 through Saturday, September 28, 2019. Continue reading…
NS Design welcomes New Zealander violinist extraordinaire Pascal Roggen.
Currently performing and touring with bass virtuoso Shez Raja Collective, including inspiring musicians, percussionist Trilok Gurtu and guitarist Wayne Krantz, Pascal fits in perfectly with his super-charged and electric improvisations.
Pascal started his formal musical education in Auckland, NZ and soon became a staple by his teens in local Irish Rock bands. His journey has taken him to Jazz festivals the world over and numerous solo and TV performances. His folk infused vocal trio Albi and the Wolves partners Pascal with guitarist Chris Dent and upright bassist Michael Young. Their crafty and soulful songs are tinged with Bluegrass and R & B harmonies adding a twist to their New Zealand blend of modern folk music. Pascal also performs with New Zealand flautist Miho Wada and Miho’s Jazz Orchestra.
Scott Laird, nationally recognized string pedagogue and conductor (and NS Design Artist and Educator), has received The University of North Carolina Board of Governors 2019 Excellence in Teaching Award. Continue reading…
Performance by Jon Boogz and Lil Buck at TED2017 – The Future You, April 24-28, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED
NS Violinist Jason Yang follows his creative instincts into innovative musical territory. As a young classical violinist growing up in New Jersey, Yang enjoyed performing with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. He broadened his interests beyond classical music while at the University of Southern California, where he met musicians who sparked his interest in composing and improvisation.
Yang began composing, arranging, and teaching, and developed his own unique style. In 2007, he began playing the NS Design CR Series Electric Violin, which expanded his sonic palette and offered a new array of technical possibilities. Jason’s performances came to encompass a variety of genres, bound together by technological innovation and his deft, playful musicianship.
Yang is pictured here at NAMM 2017 with his composing mentor Mick Baumeister (left), and Ned Steinberger (right), founder and designer, NS Design.
In 2008, while still at USC, he started posting YouTube videos of himself from his dorm room jamming on the CR4 with various pedals and layering effects. Layering and mixing using the NS electric violin, his acoustic violin, and other instruments, Yang constructed an orchestral base for his music. The success of his YouTube videos raised his profile among a new generation of experimental violinists. Today, his YouTube channel has 198,000 subscribers.
At Yang’s workstation, pictured in foreground: NS Design CR4 Transparent Black Cherry High Gloss Custom Electric Violin displayed on the NS Violin Caddy; background: NS Design CR4 Amber Satin Electric Violin.
After college, Jason found increasing success as a professional musician. In 2012 he joined Madonna’s MDNA World Tour as her violinist. He continues to collaborate with dancer and performance artist Lil Buck, who also tours with Madonna. Lil Buck and Yang have also performed together on The Colbert Report, and recently at TED2017, in the premier of a performance as MAI: Movement Art Is, co-led by dancer/choreographer John Boogz. That work, “A Dance to Honor Mother Earth”, combined dance, spoken word, and Native American song and music performed by Yang on the CR Violin.
Performance by Jon Boogz and Lil Buck at TED2017 – The Future You, April 24-28, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED
Watch the full performance here:
Jason has played the CR Violin for almost a decade. In his own words, the instrument is “hands down the best electric violin available … sound, response, design, build quality, dependability.” Jason goes wireless in his live performances, with a wireless pack in to his CR, and wireless in-ears for monitoring. He uses Boss pedals and loop stations for his effects.
Here’s another example of what Jason does so well, in what he describes as: “Spontaneous 100% freestyle jam of Moonlight Sonata. With a lil’ bit of distortion…” in a video post with fellow Movement Art Is collaborator, John Boogz:
Recently Amazon.com approached Yang to host his own live streaming channel on their online streaming service TwitchCreative. Growing out of TwitchTV, which originally focused on live-stream gaming, TwitchCreative has channels for music, cooking, painting, and crafts.
Jason’s live shows feature jamming, requests from among his 14,000 followers and guest appearances by other artists he hosts from his living room studio. Some of the most popular streams include work with ChewieMelodies, The Luck, Cellist Mariko, and several collaborations with his sister, pianist Pauline Yang.
For more information about the CR Series Electric Violins that Jason plays and the entire selection of NS Bowed Electric Instruments, including the new Eco-friendly and battery free NXTa or the affordable and road-worthy WAV Series or to see a selection of our Custom CR Series Finishes, and available accessories for the NS Electric Violin, please visit our website: ThinkNS.com.
For those of you returning to school this September, put fiery bounce in your bow by developing your “chop” percussion techniques on your violin, viola, cello or upright bass.
Starting as what was called the “chunk” technique and made popular by the father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe, “chopping” has quickly become a fun and funky way for players to keep the groove moving. Bill Monroe’s fiddler Richard Greene (pictured below) further developed the “chop” technique into his own artful musical language.
Be sure to check out an excerpt from his guest appearance at the Strings Without Boundaries Summer 2016 Session in Seattle, Washington:
NS Artist and multi-instrumentalist Margot Lane is an accomplished writer, pianist and is currently violinist, keyboardist and music director for former child actor and musician Corey Feldman’s new outfit Corey Feldman and the Angels. Corey and the Angels includes Lane and three other musicians. They made an impact last summer with a unique performance on the Today Show, and by doing so created a social media storm filled with criticism and accolades.
Feldman explains in an article by Brett Callwood of LA Weekly: “There’s a strong buzz, and the reviews from the first show have been fairly tremendous,” Feldman says. “It’s not rocket science. We’re not The Beatles. But there’s an importance to what we’re doing. It’s tongue-in-cheek and we’re all having fun with it, but it’s also an important and positive message: Don’t ever think that your day is done. As long as you have the fight and fire in you, you can achieve anything.”
The momentum of that particular performance last year inspired Feldman to find testing ground for an exciting and theatrical production collaborative with the ‘Angels’ in a mini-tour. He continued to garner more attention and a full spectrum of press coverage from this new performance concept as Corey Feldman and the Angels, and a full U.S. summer tour was recently announced with several dates slated for venues all around the country.
Tour poster photographed by Maggie St. Thomas & with artwork by Chris Canote.
“Corey’s Heavenly Tour: Angelic 2 The U.S.” kicks off June 9th in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino with Margot Lane featured on the NS NXT4a Electric Violin. She plays on hits from Feldman’s notable movies such as “Stand By Me,” “The Lost Boys” and even “The Goonies.”
Lane is no stranger to the theatrical realm and since moving to Los Angeles has written, performed and recorded soundtracks for film, worked in Asia with the Saigon Broadcasting Television Network and is also currently violinist in the Las Vegas based rock string group Bella Electric Strings. She also has time to lead a heartland rock band called The Grey Birds and Margot Lane.
To kickoff Winter NAMM each year Michael Angelo Batio and Neil Turbin host a metal concert, an artist collective of bands and players that play in benefit to a particular charity. Lane played her NS violin in the 9th Annual N.A.M.M. All-Star Metal Jam in benefit for the Rock Against MS Foundation. Here’s a great shot of her from that show playing her NXTa.
Whether you’ve just unboxed your new NS Violin, plugged in your acoustic for the first time, or are just ready to unleash into new territory on the instrument you already love to play, these exciting iNSights will take your playing to another level and help you stand out in any performance setting.
Chord connection fills, textural ghost notes, chopping techniques, and incorporating guitar and horn like riffs to electrify your string sound, Lieberman highlights a range of suggestions for expanding your violin’s voice using several alternative techniques.
This fourth edition includes a bonus interview with violinist Papa John Creach of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna. Papa John is an exciting and unique violinist and performer that understands how to truly stand out on a stage. In the interview, he talks about how to “Get Down, Get Dirty and Give it some Guts” on your electric.
Welcome to the third edition of THE LYONN’S ROAR, “Get The Best Tone On Your Electric,” with highlighting iNSights into Choosing an Electric Instrument, Amplification and Effects, and Strings and things by Julie Lyonn Lieberman. Check out this informative article that covers all the bases of Electric String Instruments:
NS Design’s founder and instrument designer Ned Steinberger was invited as a featured speaker at the Skidompha Library “Chats With Champions” series this past month in co-sponsorship with Sherman’s Bookstore in Damariscotta, Maine.
In the talk titled “Trial, Error and Invention” Ned discusses the evolution of his life’s work from his childhood passion for woodworking, early career as a furniture designer interested in ergonomic design challenges and the path that ultimately unfolded for the state-of-the-art innovations he brings to the musical instrument world.
Ned describes his forays into business, his early collaborations with Stuart Spector, meeting Les Paul for the first time, and the trials and tribulations of his process for finding the optimal sound potential of an instrument as it relates to its design and construction.
Guest guitarist, David Martin provides examples of the sonic variations and technological advances that make Ned’s instruments so exciting and versatile for players and listeners alike.
For upcoming tour dates and more about Ubriel and Winterhym check out their website at www.winterhymn.net
Umbriel’s violin is the NS WAV, an exciting and affordable electric violin with great performance features, color finish options and a variety of available accessories. The WAV is an ideal choice for any player who wants freedom, comfort and durability while exploring the world of electric and amplified sound. thinkNS.com
NS Design is pleased to announce that NS Artist and String Educator JULIE LYONN LIEBERMAN will be featured in a new series that we affectionately call the “Lyonn’s Roar!” Every month readers can look forward to education and advice on how to improve as a player, performer and musician and get the most out of your electric stringed instruments.
Julie has been at the forefront of the string evolution/revolution for 35+ years as a performer, author, composer, and producer. Her most recent of eight string books on eclectic styles and creative musicianship is titled “How to Play Contemporary Strings” (Hal Leonard). She is the Artistic Director for the summer program, Strings Without Boundaries and is an NS Design Artist/ Educator as well as a D’Addario Premiere Clinician.
Julie is the proud recipient of the 2014 ASTA: American String Teachers Association Kudos Award, over two-dozen ASCAP Plus Awards, eight Meet the Composer awards and three ASTA National Citation for Leadership & Merit awards. She has written and produced two National Public Radio Series: The Talking Violin, hosted by Dr. Billy Taylor, and Jazz Profiles: Jazz Violin hosted by Nancy Wilson, and has composed over two dozen alternative styles string orchestra scores for Kendor and Alfred Music.
Also, Julie is the creative genius behind Strings Without Boundaries (SWB). SWB is a Summer Program For Traditional & Contemporary Strings, where 21st century technique meets tradition, creativity and style. The SWB upcoming session will be in Omaha, NE on July 23-27th 2017. Each day attendees can choose from two dozen classes in American and world styles, creative musicianship, technology for strings, and more…
We are excited to hear more from Julie and her expansive knowledge and iNSights into all things strings and more.
With the launch of the new NXTa series, Ned Steinberger and NS Design herald the introduction of battery-free, high performance active electronics for the full family of NXT instruments. These include the violin, viola, cello, Omni bass and double bass. The new capacitor-powered custom circuitry, designed for NS Design by Mi-Si Electronics Design, integrates with the NS Polar Pickup System to provide two distinct signal output modes, bringing the convenience, versatility and performance capability of the NXT to another level.
Operationally, for Active mode, the user plugs the supplied charger into an AC outlet for 60 seconds to power the circuit for up to 16 hours of performance time. The instrument can then plug straight into any amp, low or high impedance, no direct box necessary. Since there is no signal loss over the full frequency spectrum of the instrument, the fundamentals of every note remain clear and strong, even with extra-long cables.
In Passive mode, as with the original NXT series, the NXTa can be used with an amplifier with a high impedance input, or with any amplifier using a direct box. In either mode, an important facet of the NXTa circuitry is “eco-friendliness” and convenience. NXTa instruments are still “green” and battery-free, eliminating the hassle and cost of batteries while helping protect our environment.
Michael Ioffe of Mi-Si with NS Design’s Ned Steinberger and the new NXTa Active instruments
Michael Ioffe, co-founder of Mi-Si (www.mi-si.com), comments “We are very honored to work with Ned Steinberger. We feel that we share the same design philosophy, it’s all about elegance and simplicity.” At the heart of all Mi-Si products is Mi-Si’s patented, battery-free technology which utilizes supercapacitors rather than conventional rechargeable batteries as energy storage elements. Mi-Si minimalistic design philosophy results in clean sound, high power efficiency, low weight, small dimensions, and elegant, environmentally friendly solution to onboard amplification.
Created by Ned Steinberger, the NXT family of NS Design instruments, along with the advanced CR series, is crafted in the Czech Republic. Ned’s instruments are distributed worldwide and have become a mainstay for countless professional artists around the globe. For more information about our instruments and the players who use them, visit thinkNS.com.
Reviewing avante garde jazz violinist David Strother’s latest release, “Azul”, Florence Wetzel of allaboutjazz.com, writes “Strother has carved out a very special field for himself, a depiction of nuanced sensations too often overlooked in our noisy world. Through the vehicle and vision of his violin, he creates sonic haiku that allow us to experience the finer emotional colorings that, although sometimes challenging, infuse life with richness.“… Read more reviews…