Rachel Grace and Saga StringsEntertainment — By Buddy Sampson on June 12, 2013 at 8:21 am
A Friendly Shark in Her Own Ocean-Defining Boundaries
By Buddy Sampson
Rachel Grace is an adventurous lady. Her credo is to live life to its fullest and if you happen to know her, you know, well, that she always reaches to shatter boundaries- in sport, in composition and, on the violin. Recently, in sport, she ran with a team at “Gladiator Rock’n Run,” an event that raised $200K for autism.
Her new amazing ensemble, Saga Strings, a three or four piece group comprised of 3-4 ladies on strings, is already garnering a fair share of attention. Back from a recent, successful stint in Mexico, the ladies recently landed a gig in Spain, and judging by the response in Mexico, Saga Strings will electrify that region.
“We would be in the dance category, for sure, because we play upbeat dance music, mostly,” said Rachel Grace, when asked to categorize her music. “It’s dance music-inspired, progressive house music, but what we do and what I feel that really defines our sound, is that we improvise a lot.”
String quartets often have a rich sound, but Saga Strings, as is in Rachel’s credo- shattering boundaries- execute their music quite differently than most quartets. “So, in most quartets, everything is written out and it’s all arrangements, but with us, everyone gets big spaces to improvise. So everyone gets to shine. There’s no first violinist or second or third- there’s no hierarchy.”
Grace, born in The Hague, Netherlands, studied at the Royal Conservatory of the Netherlands. She was introduced to the dance scene at the age of 21 and toured with some of the world’s most famous DJ’s. “We have really amazing DJ’s in my country,” Rachel explained. “And the dance music that is made in my country is really a pioneering sound for all over the world for dance music. And I played with every famous DJ possible that has their names in the charts right now. Between #1 and #10 and a lot of them are Dutch. A lot of great DJ’s come from Europe.”
Rachel Grace has an amazing stage presence. A consummate entertainer, she realizes that being a good improviser is important for a great stage show. “I think you can speak through music. You tell stories, and you have such a unique way to express it, other than words. There’s so much more you can say with music. You can touch people, while not even knowing them and improvisation is fantastic because you breed a moment right there and then.” Rachel Grace and Saga Strings, which featured Lucine on violin, Adrienne Woods on electric cello, Grace on electric violin and Elise Van Der Horst on vocals, recently had a terrific performance at Molly Malone’s in Los Angeles. Their show was opened by DJ/singer MaQui, who started the evening at Molly’s on a great note. Saga Strings’ performance was punctuated by amazing solos from Grace, Lucine and Woods, who provided a solid background for the ensemble.
When asked her preference, the stage or the studio, Rachel didn’t hesitate in the least.
“I’m at home on stage,” she said. “When I step on the stage I feel I’m at home. It doesn’t matter whether I’m with the girls or by myself, I’m like a friendly shark and it’s my ocean, I feel completely in control and there are no nerves possible.”
When Rachel Grace and Saga Strings grace (pun intended) the stage, you can’t help to be devoured by their talent, galvanized by Rachel’s credo- “live life to its fullest.” Look for huge success to come to this talented lady and her exciting ensemble.
For more on Rachel Grace, and upcoming performances, visit her website at www.rachelgraceviolin.com.
Rachel Grace will also perform June 22, at Hemingway’s Lounge, with Buddy Sampson and Friends, a benefit for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Visit www.thescoopla.com for more details.