The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

UNC lecturer's fiddle album explores musical realism inspired by literature

Tatiana Hargreaves, a professor at UNC, recently released a new album called “Soledad” inspired by the book “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez. “It was a very personal project for me so I hope it will be a personal experience for all who listen,” she said.

Tatiana Hargreaves, a lecturer at UNC, loves “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez — so much that she based her solo fiddle album on it. 

Hargreaves' love for literature and music sparked the release of the album, titled "Soledad," which means "solitude" in Spanish.

“I guess it started as an exploration of what magical realism would sound like as a musical genre,” Hargreaves said. “‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ has been one of my favorite books since I was really young, so when I was reading it for the first time in Spanish, I started improvising, inspired by different characters or themes in the book, and then those developed into the four themes of the suite.”

Hargreaves grew up attending Oregon bluegrass festivals and watching her older brother play string instruments. She began learning the fiddle herself at 3 years old. 

While she has released music in duets and with her band, Hard Drive, Hargreaves said this album was different from any of her previous projects. 

“This was just solo fiddle, so it was kind of a different process,” Hargreaves said. “Since it’s just one instrument on the recording, I wanted it to be a very full sound.”

Hargreaves said the music itself is inspired by reading “One Hundred Years of Solitude” in its original language, Spanish. 

“His language is so rich and powerful and beautiful, just the way he strings together sentences in his word choice,” Hargreaves said. “It’s very musical writing.”

Both the folk inspiration and the cyclical nature of Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” resonated with Hargreaves and led to the structure of "Soledad." Hargreaves was inspired by the nonlinear structure of the book and noticed it coincided with the way she makes music. 

Hargreaves cites the Durham Arts Council Emerging Artist Grant as her funding for studio time, mixing and mastering, and she had help from artist Saman Khoujinian to record her album in Chapel Hill. She said the entire recording process took about 3 1/2 days.

David Garcia, chairperson of UNC’s Department of Music, said Hargreaves is an example of the department’s novelty.  

“Our faculty are constantly publishing either artistic works in the form of music, as well as scholarship in the form of books. That’s what we do, and our faculty is stellar in that regard,” Garcia said. “Tatiana Hargreaves is yet another faculty member who is just doing wonderful things in the industry that she’s in.”

Sophomore Julia Holoman is involved in the department through her interests in music and vocal performance. She said the music department allows her to be in connection with faculty who are accomplished and helpful.

“The faculty just go out of their way to make sure they’re helping you achieve whatever specific goal you have," Holoman said. "For me, it’s singing opera, for other people it’s a very different dream, but I've noticed that consistently, they want the best for the students.”

As a part of the Department of Music, Hargreaves said she has gained a lot of valuable music experience working with students.

“It’s really great getting to teach as part of the bluegrass program at UNC and working with students. Some of my students I’ve been working with for three years now and just really digging into, ‘What does it mean to be a bluegrass fiddler?'” Hargreaves said.  

Hargreaves hopes "Soledad" will reach students, faculty and beyond.  

“It’s a very personal project for me, so I guess I hope that it can be a personal experience for people who listen to it,” Hargreaves said. "If people who aren’t familiar with the book hear the project, I hope that they are interested in reading it."


To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.