The Austin Chronicle

Astringent 16th Note Runs

By Livvy Bennett, March 19, 2010, 9:34am, Earache!

Ian Stewart, whose band the Fireants won Best U18 Band at the Austin Music Awards last year, and Best Roots-Rock Band this year, just picked up another award. He's been accepted into the Berklee College of Music in Boston, not far from where Sarah Jarosz studies at the New England Conservatory of Music.

Stewart's been “shredding that fiddle” since age six, which can almost explain his level of talent. As far as his audition, he played "solo violin, a medley of four tunes that had a Bach partita, a breakdown, a Johnny Gimble waltz, and a swingin' little [jazz violinist] Stuff Smith sample. Best audition ever!”

Upon finding out he was accepted, Stewart says, “I could only muster a yelp, but I was ecstatic. I have no idea [why I was accepted] – they didn't tell me – but if I had to venture a guess, I would say it was my slightly toasted Texas charms that were sautéed in a string of astringent 16th note runs.”

A Westlake High School senior, Stewart looks forward to “marshmallow jackets, soggy mittens, frigid toes, and, of course, the cosmopolitan collection of clashing cacophony that embodies an eclectic, genreless music that I intend to soak up and get sucked up into.”

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