First single, "COME BACK":
Composed and produced by Jake Armerding, ROSIN is the opening musical statement of a quartet whose mission seems to be throwing aside classical convention and accelerating toward a sound all its own. "I was mostly listening to Top 40 radio growing up in the 80s," Armerding confesses, grinning, "and I was taking Suzuki violin, plus I had a dad who was fronting a bluegrass band ... I think some combination of those three sounds became the basic coding of my DNA."
Annie Bartlett (viola), who first proposed the project to Armerding, reached out to 2016 Tanglewood Fellow Mina Kim (cello), while Armerding brought in frequent collaborator Hickman, whom he calls "the Bengal tiger of the bass." As the ensemble took shape and the repertoire progressed, Armerding began to compose specifically toward his new bandmates, taking advantage of each one's strengths. "There's this one piece that dives into a pretty treacherous Bb minor section," he says, "and I gave that to Mina. I mean, sure, we can all play in Bb minor, but not the way she can. And I probably wrote myself into a corner with the bass parts ... they're really more like 'Zack parts'. It's not the notes, it's the attitude."
The album — ostensibly classical but with constant forays into bluegrass, rock and jazz — was a chance for these instrumentalists to roam their own unique musical territory while simultaneously exploring that of the others. "Musicians like music, regardless of genre," Bartlett says, "and even though everyone was coming to the group with a different musical history, we all sort of fell in love with what Jake had written. Whatever it is, it's music. You feel it."