About

Renowned acoustic chamber-folk trio The String Contingent have toured extensively in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Scandinavia, with their unique sound that confidently walks the line between folk, classical, jazz and bluegrass. Australians, Chris Stone (violin) and Holly Downes (double bass), with Scotsman Graham McLeod (guitar) share a musical ethos that showcases the individuality of each musician and eclipses genre. Young stalwarts of the Australian acoustic music scene, TSC are equally comfortable rocking a festival stage or playing for an intimate crowd. In performance, their camaraderie and cheeky banter shines through, as does their passionate musicianship and instrumental skills; a joyful combination of precision, refinement and beauty, balanced with visceral energy and drive.
2017 sees the launch of their fifth album, Iterations, recorded in the beautiful acoustic of the Windsong Pavillion at Four Winds, Bermagui NSW. Holly, Chris and Graham embarked on a two-part residency at Four Winds to explore different creative approaches to music-making. The resultant album features music that they developed at and between the two sessions, and live free improvisation, which they collectively and spontaneously created in concert.

Chris Stone is an Australian violinist, composer and educator who holds a Bachelor of Music Performance from the Australian National University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Music Performance from the Victorian College of Arts. He began his musical life as a Scottish fiddler, and at the age of 16 traveled to America, where stalwarts of the American acoustic music scene inspired him to expand his musical horizons. He is a passionate advocate for, and teacher of, cross-genre string playing. Chris also performs regularly with Melbourne-based singer songwriter, Lucy Wise, and is a member of the Canberra-based contemporary chamber music group, The Griffyn Ensemble. Chris’ enthusiasm and vision are the driving forces behind The String Contingent and he continues to lead the trio in new musical and geographical directions. However, if left to his own devices entirely he would likely end up a stoic world nomad…

Graham McLeod is a Scottish guitarist, composer and educator who holds a Bachelor of Contemporary Music from Napier University and a Postgraduate Diploma of Education from Edinburgh University. His life as a busy electric guitarist took a sharp turn after meeting Chris and Holly in 2008 which prompted him to dust off the acoustic, lift his strap and buy some thicker picks. Graham resides in Edinburgh, and commutes frequently to tour in Australia with The String Contingent. When at home he teaches guitar and performs regularly, including work with celtic-funk band Modhan and singer-songwriter Kat Healy. A passionate animal lover, cats cause the most daily distraction for Graham, and like any self-respecting Scotsman he enjoys fine whisky.

Holly Downes is an Australian bassist, composer and educator who holds a Bachelor of Music from the Australian National University and was nominated for the Freedman Classical Fellowship in 2014. As bassist of The String Contingent she has re-invented the role of the instrument, showcasing its melodic capabilities and exploring diverse accompaniment textures and techniques. Holly also performs regularly with Melbourne-based singer songwriter, Lucy Wise, and is a member of the Canberra-based contemporary chamber music group, The Griffyn Ensemble. Holly holds Graduate and Postgraduate Diplomas in psychology from Melbourne University, where her research included auditory processing and pitch perception in music. Her preferred pastimes include fibre crafts and consuming cheese and sweet treats.

Gigs

Upcoming gigs
  • October 1, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - Stringmania Camp
    Holly and Chris will be teaching at Stringmania - a celebration and exploration of the traditional arts - music, dance, language and song. Chris is the Australian director, head to the website for all the info and come along!
    October 8, 2017
    Arrabri Lodge, 450 Woods Point Rd, Warburton East, Victoria 3799
    https://www.stringmaniacamp.com/
Media

TSC Promo Photo 1 by Brian Rosenberg

TSC Promo Photo 1 by Brian Rosenberg

TSC Promo Photo 2 by Brian Rosenberg

TSC Promo Photo 2 by Brian Rosenberg

TSC Promo Photo 3 by Bradley Cummings

TSC Promo Photo 3 by Bradley Cummings

Review of 'Facets' in Weekend Australian

Review of 'Facets' in Weekend Australian

Review of 'Facets' in Sydney Morning Herald

Review of 'Facets' in Sydney Morning Herald

Review of 'Talk' in Rhythms Magazine

Review of 'Talk' in Rhythms Magazine

TSC Poster

TSC Poster

Facets International Media Release

Technical Specifications 2014

© The String Contingent 2015