Standout Track: No. 3, “Pizzicato,” a calming concoction of light drum taps and ambient keys, on which violinist Chelsey Green piles layers of fluid string work. This song—the last one recorded for her Still Green EP—is classical meets contemporary, blurring the line between jazz and R&B. While Green’s playing is the clear centerpiece, it occasionally gives way to Aaron Hardin’s rolling piano chords and Brian “Spyda” Wheatley’s escalating percussion. “I like to call it ‘classical, shaken and stirred,’” says Green, 26.
Musical Motivation: Green began writing the song during a practice with the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra, of which she is a member. While waiting for the session to begin, she plucked the strings of her viola and ran into a nearby hallway to record it to her BlackBerry. That wasn’t the best move. “I got into a little bit of trouble,” Green says with a laugh.
No Strings Attached: Although she’s a classically trained violinist, Green takes issue with the formality of symphonic concerts. “I want the audience member to be an active participant in the experience,” she says. Green is very energetic during live performances, and her band delves into rock, soul, and electronica. Not exactly a classifiable genre by traditional standards. “I don’t try to explain myself anymore,” Green says. “I can’t be who they want me to be. All I can do is be Chelsey, and that’s what I’m going to do.” —Marcus J. Moore