Violinist Rob Moose was a sophomore in college when he responded to a classified ad that read “Britten, Buckley, Boulez, Bjork.”
That single ad led him to songwriter Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, and in the years that followed, to gigs with Antony and the Johnsons, The National and Bon Iver.
In 2007, Moose even found himself with the best seat in the house at the Kennedy Center auditorium – as he conducted Sufjan Stevens’ orchestral arrangements.
“In a way, it’s almost like being a public speaker. Nothing happens until you begin. And then there’s the sheer amount of energy and focus that’s required. You feel responsible for the whole performance in a way.”
“That can be beautiful,” he adds. “At the best you feel like you’re making the music and are in a real flow with all these musicians. At worst, it can feel like a vehicle going out of control – and you don’t have enough feet to hit all the brakes.”
Moose, who studied classical violin from a young age, seems to be making a habit of expanding his horizons these days. With Bon Iver, for instance, he’s signed on to play guitar for most of the tour. It’s an instrument he didn’t even begin to take seriously until he was already into his twenties and on a career track as a string performer.
“At a certain point, I didn’t just want to play for bands. I wanted to be in bands…”