Me and my instrument

My name is Shea Leffler, and I absolutely love music. My parents started me on violin before I can remember, and I've always been interested in both composition and performance. For a while, I played almost entirely classical, with bits of tango and jazz and a little bit of fiddling on the side, but all of that changed when I discovered "distortion". Since then, I've focused on production, research, recording, music technology, and basically everything to do with the path from me through my instrument into a finished track.

These days, I play a 7-string electric violin made by John Jordan. While I still use my acoustic daily for practice and recording, you could say that my 7-string is my specialty. There isn't really a school of 7-string electric violin out there, or any material on how to deal with the instrument for that matter, so I've had to figure out the details myself. In most things I've made with it, you probably would never think the sound you're hearing is a violin; with its ridiculously low range (a whole step lower than a cello) it can go from space-whale calls to replacing metal rhythm guitars to a warm, muted cello-ish tone and much more. If you're an electric violinist, or just want to chat, I'm always happy to talk about my instrument. Feel free to send me a message!

Amplifier worship

As someone who's played acoustic violin for nearly 19 years, the sheer feeling of playing loud and distorted is incredibly addicting. For so many years I've worked hard to pull sound from my instrument, and now all of a sudden I can plug in and merely touching the string can be made loud enough to literally shake walls.

I have a deep love for all sorts of music. But what will never leave me now is the feeling of an incredibly loud guitar amplifier cranked all the way up, like a continuous punch to the gut trying to shake your clothes off your body. When it comes to shows like that, the music isn't for the ears as much as your chest cavity. And at those sorts of volumes, the instrument starts to fight back, too. The music almost becomes collaborative; the amplifier is my big loud friend, and my violin is the carrot on a stick with which I lead it.

I think I can claim to be one of the loudest violinists in the world, if not the loudest, just because of how stubborn I am when it comes to the wattage and volume of my gear. There's not really any merit to that but it does make me happy.