Estrellita

Violinist Daniel Weltlinger Announces Forthcoming Album With Late Grandfather's Favourite Tune

Sydney-born violinist Daniel Weltlinger (The Asthmatix, Karsten Troyke) moved to Berlin in 2013, where he has since established himself as a regular, playing in different musical constellations such as the Gypsy-jazz collective Radio Django. We first saw Daniel perform at Ballhaus Berlin in 2017, for the release of his album "Samoreau" (aka part three of "his trilogy of recordings celebrating the musical legacy of the influential Belgian-born French Manouche guitarist/composer Django Reinhardt"), alongside world-renowned guitarist Lulo Reinhardt and other members of the Reinhardt family. The group's all-out musicality and jovial spontaneity were contagious and utterly engaging. We even received a copy of the album to take home, but simply never got around to show our heartfelt appreciation.

Fast forward to 2019 and Daniel Weltlinger is about to release his new project "Szolnok", a deeply personal affair. The album tells the incredible true story of his grandfather's violin and "guides the listener through time and across the continents. It is a story about an escape, an arrival and a return", named after the Hungarian city his grandfather was born in and the violin was built in. On "Szolnok", accompanied by the Daniel Weltlinger Quartet, Daniel retraces the instrument's and his family's history. And he does so, playing that same violin his grandfather "carried with him from Budapest to Vienna to Marseilles to Casblanca to Sydney," which now resides with Daniel in Berlin. 

Late last year, he took his Opa's violin out for a stroll through the neighbourhood of Wedding, an area that had initially inspired his move to Berlin. There, under a bridge, he paused to play a short yet meaningful tune called "Estrellita", which happens to be the closing track of his forthcoming album. "'Estrellita' by Manuel María Ponce is a song that is deeply etched within my being and is absolutely a part of my story of how I was inspired and entranced by my grandfather's violin playing before I could even talk, as he had played this piece of music on the violin more than any other," Daniel recalls. The album version was recorded as a field recording earlier last year in Budapest as well as in Szolnok along the banks of the Tisza river, morphing with the tranquil sounds of its native landscape and thus bringing a remarkable story full circle.

"Szolnok" releases May 3rd on DMG Germany/Rectify Records. In the meantime, go ahead and watch the video to "Estrellita" below, which merges into the pizzicato opening riff of album track "1921".