It all started with a tricycle ride when Tracy Silverman was 5 years old.
As he was riding down his street, he heard the sound of singing coming from inside a house. He thought the voice was so beautiful that he took his older brother back to the house to listen.
His brother believed the sound was a flute, which prompted Tracy to ask his parents to let him take flute lessons. When they learned why he asked, they told him the instrument was actually a violin.
He’s been playing ever since then.
Today, Silverman has become famous as a musician and the builder of the 6-string electric violin, almost immediately after his graduation from the Julliard School of Music.
Silverman’s concert, taking place in Christ Chapel at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 7, will include a variety of selections for everyone to enjoy.
In building the electric violin, Silverman used six strings instead of just four strings like a classical violin .
“The additional two lower strings open up a door not just to an additional lower register but also to a completely new approach, treating the violin as a chordal instrument like the guitar,” Silverman said. “It changes the way the instrument functions, and it really changes the way I play it.”
Now, electric violins made by Silverman are selling for about $12,000, compared to $3,000-$4,000 for other brands.
“I chose to build the electric violin because I wanted to make something new and different that didn’t have classical music already written for it,” Silverman said. “I wanted to play for people that were my own age and not really for older people.”
Silverman is working on a new record, which is planned to be released next year. When he’s not working on recording or creating new pieces, Silverman is busy with performances, which he finds to be a very rewarding experience.
“I love working with other young string players who are influenced by what I’m doing,” he said.
“I love getting people to see the possibilities of the instrument and turning people on to the sound of what the instrument can do,” Silverman said. “My hope is that it will become a more popular instrument for people to play.”
“It’s just going to be one guy with an electric violin, so there will be a lot of variety and different styles,” Silverman said. “There will be some rock with distortion, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, some Brazilian, jazz and classical pieces, some of my own works and some covers of tunes that people know.”
Tickets are $9 for adults and $4 for students in advance and can be purchased from NW Music Dept., Dove Christian Bookstore and the Orange City Arts Council. At the door tickets are $12 and $7.