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
  • March 31, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - Wauchope House Concert
    If you are in the area and are interested in coming along email us at thestringcontingent@gmail.com or call 0434 993 973 for more details.
    Near Wauchope, NSW
  • April 1, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - Pretty Beach House Concert
    If you are in the area and are interested in coming along email us at thestringcontingent@gmail.com or call 0434 993 973 for more details.
    Pretty Beach, NSW
  • April 2, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - House Concert in Batemans Bay
    If you are in the South Coast region and would like to come along, please get in touch for more information - info@thestringcontingent.com or call Chris on 0434 993 973
    Batemans Bay, NSW
  • April 6, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - Concert for Young Regional School of Music
    Join us for 'Beats & Bites' at Kettle & Grain, the funkiest venue in Young. Tickets $35 including pizza and music, and can be booked through the venue or at the Young Regional School of Music.
    Kettle & Grain, 2 Campbell Street (Olympic Highway), Young NSW 2594
    https://www.yrsm.org.au
  • April 7, 2017 @ - Concert in Temora
    Come along to the Sound Shell at the Temora Railway Precinct for an evening of music. More info coming soon.
    Railway Precinct, Temora, NSW
  • April 8, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - Concert in Tumbarumba at Nest Cafe-Cinema
    We are looking forward to returning to perform in the unique cabaret cinema setting of Nest Cafe. Dessert canapes are inclusive in ticket price and bookings welcome for pre-show dinner to make it an extra special night out. Book your ticket now through the link below or check out www.cafe-nest.com for more details.
    Nest, 56 Winton St, Tumbarumba NSW 2653, Australia
    https://www.trybooking.com/PDBT
  • April 9, 2017 @ 3:30 pm - Majors Creek House Concert
    If you are in the area and are interested in coming along email us at thestringcontingent@gmail.com or call 0434 993 973 for more details.
    Majors Creek, NSW
  • April 14, 2017 @ 12:20 pm - ‘Iterations’ Album Launch – National Folk Festival
    Join us at the Budawang to help launch our fifth album 'Iterations' out into the stratosphere!
    National Folk Festival, Budawang Stage, Canberra ACT
    http://folkfestival.org.au
  • April 15, 2017 @ 2:10 pm - Infinite Song Contest – National Folk Festival
    Come along to hear us play something totally different....a Beach Boys cover! Part of the very entertaining yearly competition at the Folk Festival that features versions of different popular artists or genres. Cheer loudly to get us through to the finals!
    National Folk Festival, Marquee Stage, Canberra, ACT
    http://folkfestival.org.au
  • April 16, 2017 @ 10:00 pm - Concert at the National Folk Festival
    We're playing at the Trocadero - come and hear some new music from our latest album 'Iterations' alongside some older favourites!
    National Folk Festival, Trocadero Stage, Canberra, ACT
    http://folkfestival.org.au
  • April 17, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - Concert at the National Folk Festival
    We're playing at the Majestic - come and hear some new music from our latest album 'Iterations' alongside some older favourites!
    National Folk Festival, Majestic Stage, Canberra, ACT
    http://folkfestival.org.au
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