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
  • July 9, 2018 @ - Wild Strings Music Camp, Canberra
    Hosted by the Young Music Society of Canberra, Wild Strings is a 5-day music intensive for young people directed by our violin/fiddler Chris Stone. The camp offers an opportunity to explore different genres on violin, viola, cello or double bass as well as improvisation and self-expression through music in a fun and supportive environment. Click the link below to read more!
    July 13, 2018
    Canberra Girls Grammar School Music Centre
    http://youngmusicsociety.org.au/wild-strings/
  • August 3, 2018 @ - Concerts and Workshops hosted by Mitchell Conservatorium
    The String Contingent will be performing concerts and workshops in the regional centres of Forbes, Lithgow and Bathurst hosted by the Mitchell Conservatorium. More details soon!
    August 6, 2018
    Central West, NSW
    http://www.mitchellconservatorium.edu.au/
  • August 31, 2018 @ 7:30 pm - Concert in Katherine, NT
    As part of our exploratory tour of Northern Australia we are delighted to be playing at Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre. Full details coming soon.
    Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre, Stuart Highway, Katherine East, NT
    http://www.gyracc.org.au/
  • September 1, 2018 @ - Concert in Kunnanurra, NT
    We'll be passing through Kunnanurra as part of our exploratory tour across the top of Australia and are stoked to be playing a concert there. Full details soon!
    Kunnanurra, NT
  • September 11, 2018 @ - Concert in Cape Leveque, WA
    So excited to be heading up the Dampier Penisula as part of our exploratory tour across the top of Australia! Full details soon.
    September 12, 2018
    Kooljaman Cape Leveque PMB 8, Cape Leveque, WA
    http://www.kooljaman.com.au/
  • September 16, 2018 @ - Concert in Broome, WA
    Delighted to be making it up to the north-west of our big country, full details soon!
    Broome, WA
  • September 21, 2018 @ 8:00 pm - Concert in Alice Springs
    After our exploratory tour across the top of Australia we are exciting to be finally heading to 'The Middle' and can't wait to perform at the renowned Araluen Arts Centre. Click the link below for more info and to book your tickets!
    Araluen Arts Centre, 61 Larapinta Dr, Alice Springs, NT 0870
    https://araluenartscentre.nt.gov.au/whats-on/string-contingent
  • September 22, 2018 @ 8:00 pm - Concert in Darwin, NT
    Delighted to be finally playing in the 'big smoke' of the north, at the renowned Darwin Entertainment Centre. Click the link below to book your tickets now.
    Darwin Entertainment Centre, 93 Mitchell Street Darwin NT 0800
    https://www.yourcentre.com.au/#!/events
  • September 28, 2018 @ - Concert in Geelong, VIC
    The first concert in our 2018 tour of Victoria and NSW - full details coming soon.
    Geelong, VIC
  • September 30, 2018 @ - Stringmaina! Music Camp
    Stringmania! is a residential string camp and a meeting point for musicians who are passionate or curious about traditional music. Directed by the renowned fiddle player Alasdair Fraser, join The String Contingent and a host of amazing tutors to explore music together in the beautiful Yarra Valley. Click the link below to learn more about the camp.
    October 7, 2018
    Arrabri Lodge, 450 Woods Point Rd, Warburton East, Victoria 3799
    https://www.stringmaniacamp.com/
  • October 12, 2018 @ - Concert in Melbourne, VIC
    Save the date, more details soon!
    Paris Cat, 6 Goldie Place, Melbourne 3000
    http://pariscat.com.au/
  • October 18, 2018 @ - Concert in Tauranga, New Zealand
    Great to be visiting our neighbours across the ditch again, more details soon!
    The Barrel Room, 26 Wharf Street, Tauranga, NZ
    http://barrelroom.co.nz/
  • October 19, 2018 @ - Wellington Folk Festival, New Zealand
    Stoked to be finally returning to the fantastic 'Wellyfest' - we have very fond memories of playing at this festival back in 2011. Our band mascot Wally T. Wombat even had his first sleep over with a five year old fan after stage diving at the end of our last gig!
    October 21, 2018
    Brookfield Outdoor Education Centre, Moore’s Valley, Wainuiomata, NZ
    http://wellingtonfolkfestival.org.nz/
  • October 25, 2018 @ - Concert in Wauchope
    Heading back to perform for the wonderful community of the Wauchope Arts Council. Save the date, full details soon.
    Wauchope Community Arts Hall, Oxley Lane (opp Bain Park) Wauchope NSW 2446
    http://www.wauchopearts.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