The Cultural Wave of Lindsey Stirling

As an introvert, I tend to not go out much and stay to myself. When considering an event or time that culturally inspired me, I was stuck due to not really seeing much of the art world. In this class, I learned to appreciate the way and aesthetics of the emotion and love put into something that one person believed in, especially with music. As a quiet child, I would listen to unique music, using different genres to get lost in my own mind with different stories, especially the wordless type music. When I first encountered Lindsey Stirling on my Pandora list, I was very impressed and wanted to listen to more of her work. She has a flow of rhythm mixed with classical music to help build a story. Many of her videos focus on a story she thought of and a song that is created to go with it. Lindsey Stirling’s electronic classical type of mixed music, paired with her graceful moves, brings forth an exceptional style of music that is constantly critiqued by professionals, but admired by many more fans. She dances and plays her violin in a ballerina-like way pushes you to want to dance and get lost in the moment with her and that big smile. Even though her music inspires fans worldwide, she is still judged by many professionals. This motivates her to take criticism and transform it to improve her work. In doing so, she has helped promote and give growth to her name and fan base.

            When I listen to a song, I want to get lost and forget the mood I am currently in. At the end of work or on the way home from school late at night, I always start my playlist and listen to the different types of tracks saved. One of my favorite genres that I use for studying and focusing is a classical yet background type music that gives an inspiring tempo to help myself to keep going. Any music that helps push me to my goal culturally inspires me and allows me to appreciate the emotion and work put into it by the songs creator. Lindsey Stirling’s music has a type of futuristic sound with an electronic beat in the background, paired with her violin as the lead. A perfect way to appreciate her work is to watch it with her videos. Each video is a story that she comes up with in her mind and then leads to the song she creates. I really enjoy listening to an artist that puts their own soul and emotion into the song. It has a magical and unrealistic feeling that connects you. Most music now a day tends to play the lyrics repeatedly about nothing. Whether it’s calling out someone for how they act or dress, to wanting to be perfect and pretty for a man, it is a message that is being taught, which can influence a young person in the wrong way. Lindsey’s music is new and unique in a way with a modern and classical liveliness. The work and songs have been stated as a “New Age” genre that inspires many people to give a therapeutic and elevating experience. It has an imaginary and sci-fi type feeling that has been used in popular fantasy stories such as Game of Thrones, Assassins Creed, and Skyrim. With her music, she doesn’t think about it in a common way. She composes a story of music that tries to include a movement, scene, light, and dance.

            After I found out Lindsey Stirling would be performing in Raleigh, I had to go! I experienced an amazing performance in a group of fans that understood her music the same way as myself. As soon as the show started, you could hear her music slowly and then she appeared on stage with just her costume and violin. It’s amazing to see an artist feel their music so that the performance is full of emotion and happiness. She always has a huge smile on her face and gives an elegant ballerina type dance that wants to suck you in. Anytime I hear her music, I just want to get lost or get up and dance. Her music, along with her dance moves, can move a crowd and give an outer body experience that motivates you to keep pushing forward.

            Of course, there will be those who want to judge and give their opinion as a professional, but all they seem to do is motivate Lindsey Stirling to adapt and evolve with the criticism that gives the result of a new masterpiece. In an article between musical and classical critics, the topic of Lindsey’s unique work was reviewed and judged. A critic named Jon Caramanica understood her type of music and felt the somewhat out of body experience. He said that if you watch the video with her music, you could see her ideas and feel the tone she was going for. Caramanica also stated, “for all of this music’s breathlessness, I find it cold, vague and almost mist like in its inconsequentiality” (Caramanica, J & Z Woolfe, May 2, 2014). Another critic, by the name of Zachary Woolfe, felt that Stirling’s music was unpleasant. He didn’t understand the new mix of her music and felt that it was mainly aimed at “nerdy teenage girls”. Woolfe stated, “she lacked the extra kick needed and is only famous from social media” (Caramanica, J & Z Woolfe (May 2, 2014). He also felt that the music was meant merely for headphones and not meant to be compared to classical music in a new way. (Caramanica, J & Z Woolfe. May 2, 2014) Out of all the critics and negative reviews, Lindsey never let it get to her. When she auditioned for America’s Got Talent back in 2010, she made it all the way to quarterfinals and was kicked off. Judge Piers Morgan told her “You’re not untalented, but you’re not good enough, I don’t think, to get away with flying through the air and trying to play the violin at the same time” (Varga, G, May 13, 2014). Amazingly, this would be the best thing to happen to her, as she created more work and released her music videos on YouTube, which gained more popularity and eventually led to her getting a contract with the same manager of Lady Gaga. (Billboard. April 22, 2013). Lindsey always focuses on what she wants to do and is successful by staying true to herself, regardless of what critics say about her.

            When you listen to Lindsey Stirling’s music and get lost in her trance-like songs, you appreciate the fact that one person had this rhythm stuck in their head and created a beautiful masterpiece. Many unique and famous artists that started out faced judges and critics that said they were not good enough. What they should focus on is that one song can affect different people in many ways. If the song gives a connection that is so valuable and beautiful, it can change the way we think culturally and emotionally. I feel that over time if Lindsey keeps pushing forward new and inspirational music, she can change her listeners to appreciate the art and story being played by her violin and by her dances moves. Lindsey Stirling’s New Age electronic classical type music, paired with her graceful dancer like moves, brings forth a unique style of music that is constantly critiqued by professionals, but admired by many more fans. When you see her live, she has this aura, band, costumes, back up dancers and performance that will knock you off your feet and will teach you to appreciate different types of music as they are.