Beth Daunis says that because she is a "middle child," she often looked for ways to stand out compared with her siblings. When she discovered the violin at age 4, she was hooked.
Now, 27 years later, Daunis has established a reputation in the Tucson musical community for versatility and range on her instrument. She maintained her busy performance schedule even while writing and recording her first solo album, The Shape of Spirit.
“Creating the album, it was like giving birth to something,” said Daunis. “To bring that to the world was ignoring all challenges and fears, so that I could present my ideas to the world.”
Daunis chose to record most of the album's tracks live to preserve the feel of a spontaneous performance.
“A lot of the pieces I play channel a melody line, and we perfect it from there,” Daunis said, referring to her accompanist, writing partner and fiancé Phil Lipman.
Daunis revealed that her first track on the album, Awesome Saturday, spiraled off of a song that was composed earlier that same day by Lipman called Grim Saturday. After finding that tune's somber mood unsatisfying, Lipman encouraged Daunis to improvise, and the resulting jam evolved into a more positive piece of music.
“The song expresses the challenges of your own life, and the journey out of those challenges into the light,” said Daunis.
She called it the happiest and brightest song in the album, symbolizing the joy that she found in working closely on the creative process with her fiancé.
“The joy of working with your beloved one has truly brought us together, it’s given us the opportunity to grow,” said Daunis. “We may never have kids, but we will always have the music we share.”
Arizona Public Media's Spotlight Sessions are recorded and mixed by Jim Blackwood.
Listen to the full Beth Daunis Spotlight Session including interview: