It all started when I tackled Mark O’Connor’s “The Cricket Dance”. It is a short, straightforwardtune that requires the skills of an intermediate player, and yet it took me an absurdly long time to learn. To put things in context: if I was capable of absorbing whole violin concertos in a matter of weeks, why was the O’Connor piece so hard to get under my fingers? Had I entered a new musical territory in which I had to acquire a style and technique completely different from my classical training? And if so, how many more different “languages” existed outside of the traditional repertoire? Inspired by this question, I started my exploration of works reflecting the ways the violin is employed in musical settings worldwide.