For Boston-based artist, Christine Delphine Hedden, writing was the beginning of her musical journey. Hailing from the highlands of western Connecticut, she began writing songs in early elementary school, set to Tolkien’s poetry, to accompany fantasy adventures on her grandfather’s Christmas tree farm. Today, her creative process is still deeply rooted in these fields despite years on the road: a connection with nature and a magically spiritual sense of the world form the foundations of her work.
Christine Delphine is an artist who draws upon many wells: traditional, classical and contemporary. She is a composer, a fiddle player and violist, a percussive dancer, an improviser and a storyteller in spoken word and song.
As a child, Christine was enchanted by Irish traditional music – hypothesizing that a viola could be played like a fiddle, she chose the viola as her first musical instrument. After Twinkle, she was soon attending New England slow jam sessions with her father, Dan, on guitar. Sharing a love of music (and a similar sense of humor) the two still perform together as Headin’ Home.
Soon after becoming a part of multiple musical communities – Western classical, New England traditional and Irish traditional – Christine began encountering misunderstandings between her communities and their perceptions of other genres. As a young artist, she began to investigate translation – how could nuances of traditional music be translated in classical notation? Is it possible for people to experience the dignity, complexity and beauty of music from other communities– and what could she do, as a composer and performer, to bring about these kinds of experiences?
Today, Christine’s musical communities have expanded to include contemporary classical music, electronic music and free jazz improvisation. Her work seeks to bring people of diverse musical communities to a place of understanding, respect, appreciation and awe for the people and music of other traditions.
As a teacher, Christine believes in a holistic approach to learning music. Her teaching philosophy is strongly influenced by her experiences in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, emphasizing the natural relationship between movement and rhythm. Her own teachers include composers Evan Chambers, Gabriela Lena Frank, Kristin Kuster and Nancy Galbrieth; violists David Harding; fiddlers Marty Somberg and George Keith; and percussive dancers Nic Gariess and Kieran Jordan.
Christine holds an M.M. in Music Composition from University of Michigan, where she had the opportunity to premiere her thesis, “A Thaisce Riamh: Concerto for Fídíl and Orchestra” as fídíl soloist and composer. She holds two degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, a B.F.A. in Music Composition and a B.F.A. in Viola Performance, with University Honors. Through the Vira I. Heinz Scholarship Program for Women in Global Leadership, she had the opportunity to study abroad at University of Limerick in Ireland and completed certificates in Irish studies and the Blás International Summer School of Irish Music and Dance at the Irish World Academy.
Christine is a member of BMI, American Composer’s Forum, SEAMUS, Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fraternity for Women Alumni and is a registered teacher for violin and viola with the Suzuki Association of the Americas.
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