The inspiration to arrange Venus in Furs came from John Cale’s evocative viola playing in the original Velvet Underground version of this song, particularly the characteristic slide up to the harmonic. The lyrics are inspired by the sadomasochistic novella by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (the term masochism comes from his name). The repetitive, ritualistic quality of the melody and the constant drone, combined with the song’s subject, create a hallucinogenic effect that we, as musicians, can really sink into. Playing this gets us into some unusual zones.
from Tom Swafford's String Power,
released September 10, 2015
composed by Lou Reed, arranged by Tom Swafford, performed by String Power.
soloist: Tom Swafford (violin)