"Eight people, 11 instruments" world music band

The Center for the Creative Arts in Yorklyn’s monthly Open Mic Night attracts some of the best and most interesting talent the region has to offer.

As part of our ongoing livestreaming of the action each third Thursday of the month, the Hockessin Community News will occasionally highlight some of that talent with an exclusive Q&A.

This month features world music ensemble String Theory, billed as “Eight Musicians, 11 Instruments.” We spoke with band leader Ken Sharp about the origins of the band.

CCArts’ open mic night is every third Thursday, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Q What is the concept behind "String Theory?"

A The band started innocently enough eight years ago, when two of us (who met in a World Music course) were jamming in a classroom at Osher Lifelong Learning in Wilmington. A fiddler poked his head in and we were three. Then we found a drummer (also a teacher at Osher) and before long there were eight musicians playing ten instruments. Three of us were DuPont scientists, and we were (mostly) a string band, so we fused the two into “String Theory.”

Q How do you select the songs and styles of music you play?

A The two band founders, Ken Sharp and Don von Schriltz are both avid harvesters of folk music from around the world. That's the good news. The bad news is that we sometimes collect tunes faster than we can learn them. Our center of gravity is Celtic music, but we also enjoy Scandinavian, Latin, African and Klezmer tunes. We also have two wonderful vocalists.

Q Where does String Theory usually perform? Who is your audience?

A We have recently given concerts at Kendal-Longwood (twice), Cokesbury Village, and played for all three of Rockwood Museum’s Victorian Balls, until they were discontinued. We have also played for smaller audiences at Osher, libraries, retirement communities, art galleries and fund raisers.