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The best kept secret in music


"Violentfingers at the Apple Store"

Made on a Mac
Laura Escude, Violinist
Friday, June 24, at 7 p.m.
Apple Store, The Grove
Violinist, composer, and sound designer Laura Escude will perform original compositions, written on her PowerBook G4 using software such as Ableton Live and Propellerhead Reason. - The Apple Store

"Violentfingers at Create Fixate"

Create:Fixate takes pride in presenting music as diverse and inspired as the photographs on display. A short list of some of the artists at the next "Optical Lounge and Audio Lab" proves once again the value of this ethic. Working as Violentfingers, Laura Escude mixes her classical training in violin with synthesized sounds, MIDI, and effects to create a compelling synthesis of organic and electronic elements. - Create Fixate

"Violentfingers at Kamikaze"

KAMIKAZE: Tampa Bay artist Joel Cocker showcases his mixed media work, from sculptures to pottery, in "Kamikaze," a solo exhibit, which runs Saturday through Oct. 14. Opening night festivities, from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., will feature live music by the Violentfingers. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; Look Studio, 209 N Armenia Ave., Tampa; free. Call 376-8971.

- St. Pete Daily

"Violentfingers w/Trace Element"

TRACE ELEMENT 'Human' Review, Grooves Magazine #17
Alex Reynolds, Grooves Magazine

Pure Tone Productions, Fateless Flows Collective

All manner of influences seemingly abound on the debut album Human from the Miami-based Trace Element project. Lead musician Henry Hsiao joins his trance-flavored sounds to darker Bristol trip-hop and the crunchiness of early jungle-inspired IDM, making use of contributions from violinist Laura Escude, saxophonist Jeremy Powell, and vocalists Eluv and Sara Marie Rauch. We are introduced to the group with the synth-heavy glitch of "Soft Insanity," setting up a tight, subtle pace that Escude's strings gently melt away on "March," bubbly snares rolling along separate paths and meeting up again. Rauch's opening turn as chanteust in "Let Me Go" adds the right note of sadness to its lyrics, while the warbling of "End of Summer" interplays Eluv's soft, electrolyzed crooning and Powell's sensual saxophone accompaniment.

Captivating dance-floor material, "Krunch" returns Human to instrumental work, jumping into a tightly programmed, nervous affair, one that is greatly aided by Escude's fear-laden strings, leaping into a head-nodding pace highly reminiscent of Photek circa- Modus Operandi . "Merce" mines the same vein of IDM influence, a brooding and bleepy Orbital-like piece, knob-twiddling veiled underneath nimble beats. Closing with the dramatic "The Day I Dread," half-mournful, half-sighing crooning gives the disc a delicate, Dead Can Dance cinematic flourish. There's nothing particularly cutting edge here, and that's a good thing: With the solid, inspired musicianship displayed by Hsiao and friends, Trace Element's Human becomes a highly enjoyable set. - Grooves Magazine

"Violentfingers w/Trace Element"

Igloo Magazine November 2004

"...The physicality of the music is revealed as each of Human's nine tracks gracefully unfolds, exposing a greater inner strength enriched with digitally processed classical sensibilities with each animated movement..."

John Reveles, Contributing Editor

The liner notes of Trace Element's new album Human define the band's moniker as "A chemical element required in minute quantities by an organism to maintain proper physical functioning." In this case, the organism is their passionately composed music, while the required element is not so much chemical nor minute, but the human (hence the album title) presence integrated into these studio recordings as well as their improvisational live performances featuring the laptop acrobatics of Henry Hsiao and live violin of Laura "Violentfingers" Escude. The physicality of the music is revealed as each of Human's nine tracks gracefully unfolds, exposing a greater inner strength enriched with digitally processed classical sensibilities with each animated movement.

"Soft Insanity" begins with crisp liquid effects and lush chords before a nice glitch groove is established, only to merge with electro beats and dubby bass while an innocent melody toils in the cinematic backdrop. The electro beats continue on "March," and with every passing synth line and carefully crafted percussion effect, I begin to wonder if this is what the last Future Sound of London album should have sounded like. After the evocative vocal performance of Sara Marie Rauch on the arresting "Let Me Go," the smoky jazz of "End of Summer" introduces Jeremy Powell's sax, which performs an intricate seductive dance with the expressive vocals of Eluv that flows with every step. "Miles Away" brings back the dub electro vibe, complete with a pinch of battle-style scratching challenging the sax out on the dance floor only to let us decide the winner.

The head bobbing rhythm of "Krunche" that glides along silky violin notes makes me think this must be where Trace Element let the improvisation loose in their live set before cooling the pace down with the warm exotic sounds of voice and violin performing another attractive dance in "Yin and Yang." "Merce" brings the electro back for one last dance with multicolored gyrating synths looping in and out of abstract geometrical shapes that generate a cohesive form while the operatic vocals of "Dread" gently close Human with a new definition of digital arias that would bring a wide smile to Malcolm McLaren's face.

I anticipate that with Human, Trace Element will definitely appeal to anyone looking for some original sounds, and most definitely win them over with their live shows. Having recently joined the excellent Fateless Flows collective, I'm sure this isn't the last we'll hear from them, and I look forward to hearing more when it becomes available. - Igloo Magazine


Human-full length CD released with previous band Trace Element
Metronome Inside-self released EP

Radio- songs on rotation on 88.9 KUCI Irvine, 88.9 KXLU LA, KSPC 88.7 and live performances at all stations as well

Recently performed at the Apple Store (The Grove Los Angeles), Create Fixate and the LA Art Fest.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Laura Escude’s early years were spent playing violin in recitals and youth orchestras. She played any music that was put down in front of her, including most classical standards and also composed short pieces for violin and piano. She attended numerous summer camps, where she performed covers of rock songs in string quartets.

Her love for classical music was strong, but there was always something missing in the major chords and perfectly tuned instruments. Performing the garish col legno passages in Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique led to an obsession with darker tones and dissonant, atonal styles.

Later, she became fascinated with early experimental electronic music through her college classes and began to produce her own music and record violin with local electronic music producers. She also promoted underground shows at a local art gallery and music venue where they would stay until the wee hours of the morning. Nights spent in dark clubs melted into days spent learning theory and playing classical music. Pretty soon the two were interchangeable.

The name Violentfingers came about after a particularly intense evening of pizzicato on the violin. It has come to represent her electronic-acoustic project in which she produces original electronic music and records and performs live violin. Laura is currently experimenting with new effects and MIDI pedals for her violin, as well as synthesizing original sounds for use in her upcoming album.

In Los Angeles, Laura works in the audio industry, also composing and doing sound design for TV and film. She recently completed sound design for the upcoming summer films Stealth and Lovewrecked. She continues to play classical music with the Santa Monica Symphony, and is keen on creating a new experimental string quartet in the area. In the few months she has resided in LA, Laura has performed on KXLU 88.9, KUCI Irvine and local venues both solo and with The Trace Element. She has recently gotten involved with Fateless Flows, a Los Angeles electronic music collective, and looks forward to spreading the word about talented local electronic musicians. Currently, she is working on finishing her album and sharing her love of music with as many people as possible. She is busy exploring the Los Angeles music scene and looks forward to performing cinematic sounds around the globe.