Raw talent

NPR Tiny Desk winner is “captivating” violinist with brittle bone disease

(Gaelynn Lea/Facebook)

This week, 32-year-old Gaelynn Lea was announced as the winner of NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest in which participants were asked to record themselves performing an original song on video to be judged by the likes musical talents like Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. The Duluth, Minnesota violinist, whose music was described in the NPR article announcing her win as “captivating and powerful,” is a classically trained fiddler with American and Celtic influence. She was born with brittle bone disease which disallows her from playing the violin under her chin so Lea plays the instrument upright and uses pedals to distort the sound, creating what was described as a “beautiful droning loop” in her original submission, “Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun.” “Don’t tell me we’ve got time / the subtle thief of life / it slips away when we pay no mind,” she sings.

“Skill and craft is a part of how we select a winner,” NPR’s Bob Boilen wrote. “What Gaelynn Lea did for all of our judges, myself included, was to make something memorable.”

Read the full story at NPR.

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