Internationally renowned violinist, dancer and music impresario Lindsey Stirling is bringing her new album, Snow Waltz, to life at the Rio Rancho Events Center this holiday season at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28.
Stirling has performed for audiences across the globe with her electric violin for more than a decade. The follow-up to her debut holiday album Warmer in the Winter — a 2017 release whose hit single “Carol of the Bells” made history as the only instrumental song ever to reach the Top 10 at AC Radio — Snow Waltz emerges as a singular new entry in holiday works.
“On my first holiday album I toyed with more traditional Christmas sounds like big-band music, but this time I wanted to give the songs a more whimsical, pixie-like feeling that’s quintessentially me,” Stirling said in a release. “It’s always a challenge to put your own stamp on a classic song that’s been recorded hundreds of times, and I really loved experimenting with different approaches and making sure that every song felt completely unique to who I am as an artist.”
Stirling explained that Snow Waltz came from thinking about the period of time between Halloween and Christmas where the two seasons overlap.
“I wanted to create something in the same world as The Nightmare Before Christmas or the Harry Potter movies, where there’s sort of a Christmas-y feeling alongside all the spookiness,” she said.
On “Joy to the World,” she joined forces with Gladius and Stephen Anderson to create a Celtic-inspired take on the 18th century Christmas carol.
“Celtic was always my favorite music to play when I was younger; the rhythms felt way more exciting to me than the classical music you tend to perform in violin lessons,” Stirling said. “As I was choosing songs for the album, ‘Joy to the World’ really spoke to my Celtic soul, and it was so much fun to put together something that bounces so quickly from major to minor and back again.”
Although all of Snow Waltz bears a potent emotionality, songs like “Magic” featuring David Archuleta hold a significance for Stirling. One of several vocally driven original numbers on the album was sparked from what Stirling refers to as “one of the most profound moments in my life.”
“When my father was passing away, my sisters and my mother and I were gathered around him — all of us were just silent, because everything felt so heavy,” she recalls. “But then one of my sisters suggested we go around the circle and tell stories about my dad, which led to us bringing up all these loving and funny memories about our favorite moments with him. It was the purest emotion I’ve ever felt, because even though I was so sad and devastated at what I was losing, I was also overcome by gratitude and joy. One thing I love about Christmas is that it helps us to recognize the magic in our lives, so this song is my way of trying to inspire people to find that inner joy no matter what time of year it is or what they are going through.”
For the closing track to Snow Waltz, Stirling selected an original instrumental called “Ice Storm,” a guitar-heavy track revealing her more rock-like music tastes.
“When I first started writing this record, I’d been working on a rock album, and during that transition time I decided to create a rock Christmas song,” she said. “I grew up loving Trans-Siberian Orchestra, so I felt like ‘Ice Storm’ would be a great way to nod to all the other TSO fans out there. I think it could become a niche favorite among some of my more diehard fans.”
With a holiday tour now in the works, Stirling is eager to bring the songs of Snow Waltz to life onstage. Known for her highly visual live performance, she even began conceptualizing many facets of her upcoming shows while in the thick of the writing process.
“When we were working on ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,’ I got the idea to incorporate trapeze work in the live show. The arrangement feels so quirky and avant-garde, it calls for some kind of circus-like element,” said Stirling, who also takes a hands-on role in designing her elaborate stage costumes.
Stirling likes to interact with her audience and include them in some parts of her performances as well.
“There are certain Christmas songs that take me right back to my childhood, and a lot of those songs are from artists who stay true to their style and bring Christmas into their world,” she says. “My hope is that this music becomes a part of people’s holiday traditions: something that holds so many special memories for them, and really makes those memories last.”
Tickets and VIP Packages will be available at the Rio Rancho Events Center Box Office and Ticketmaster.com. Public sales begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 25.