- Title: USA: Violinist Joshua Bell talks about his new album At Home with Friends
- Date: 23rd September 2009
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (SEPTEMBER 21, 2009) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) JOSHUA BELL, VIOLINIST, SAYING: "First thing I did when I built my house is sound-proof the floor. And I'm on the top floor, so there's nobody above me. (laughs) But I invite the neighbours of course, that's the first thing you do, when you do that."
- Embargoed: 8th October 2009 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Reuters ID: LVA7FMX1YVDHAH9DAFF55ZFRRPLX
- Story Text: Joshua Bell likes nothing more than to have a party.
The Grammy Award-winning violinist has long held musical gatherings at his New York apartment, inviting fellow musicians, actors, comics, and of course, his neighbours.
"First thing I did when I built my house is sound-proof the floor. And I'm on the top floor, so there's nobody above me. But I invite the neighbours of course, that's the first thing you do," Bell laughs.
The classical musician, once named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful, has just fulfilled a life-long dream of recording an album of instrumental and vocal duets with some of his closest friends.
Bell says the idea for the album, titled 'At Home with Friends,' arose out of the informal gatherings.
"Basically it's a collection of all my musical friends I've collected over the years in various genres: latin, blue grass, pop, broadway, indian music. I noticed a couple of years ago, geez I have a lot of friends outside the classical musical world as well, as classical and let's put them together and make an album," Bell says.
'At Home with Friends' covers a world of music, ranging from a 16th Century love song recorded with The Police frontman Sting, to pure violin-piano duets with Marvin Hamlisch and Dave Grusin, and a cover of The Beatles' 'Eleanor Rigby', with Frankie Moreno. While he's reluctant to be drawn on who his favourite duet was - they're all good friends - it's pretty clear Bell enjoyed recording with Sting.
"I grew up listening to just a few rock bands, Genesis and The Beatles and Police was one of them, in the 80s growing up. So I always admired Sting. He loves classical music and he's all around a great musician so it was pretty awesome," says Bell.
Bell has more than 30 albums to his credit, enchanting audiences worldwide. He made his professional debut at age 14 with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and performed for U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady, Michelle earlier this year. Not bad for someone who started out playing rubber-bands, as a kid.
"When I was growing up at the age of 3 or 4, just before I got my first violin, I would collect rubber bands, or elastic bands and I would string them on my dresser drawers and open up the draws to get different pitches. I heard a lot of music in the house so I would try to copy the tunes I heard. So my clever parents got me a violin at the age of four, they're psychologists, not musicians, but they did get me a violin and that's how it all started. There are no rubber bands on this album," Bell laughs.
The album 'At Home with Friends' will be released on September 29.
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