Nothing creates an electric atmosphere at a wedding like excellent live music!
We got in touch with violinist and founder of Palm Strings, Titia Blake, and asked her to tell us all about their magic.
Tell us a little more about your company and the service that you offer…
Palm Strings is about live acoustic music. A violin / guitar duo is the most popular of our ensembles. Adding a bass (or cello) to the mix we become a trio, or even a quartet by adding a second violin. Occasionally we still play as a classic string quartet (two violins, a viola and a cello) but we are finding more and more that people want the classic instruments playing pop music. This genre definitely calls for a guitar. We are as comfortable playing a concert on stage at the Baxter theatre as we are playing jazz at a wine farm or on the beach at a seaside resort. Our repertoire is vast – ranging from popular classics to the latest pop tunes. We’ve even learned punk (think Blink 182) and Bollywood hits for clients.
How long have you been working in the industry?
What price range is your service?
Usually between R6000 and R12000 depending on the number of musicians involved.
How many weddings do you estimate you have been involved in?
Oh my goodness! 1000 AT LEAST!
What is one of the challenges you face in your industry?
People totally underestimate the value of the energy of live music and often don’t understand that we are not a jukebox on which you can press a ‘play’ button! It takes hours to arrange the latest pop song or Bollywood tune when the sheet music is not available.
What makes your service unique?
We are completely mobile. We often “move” guests from one venue to the next. For example at Hudson’s we have played a service in the garden then moved the guests to the patio for pre-drinks and finally inside for the reception. Our duo has memorized so much music we can play for hours without reading a note – in the wind, in a cramped space, anywhere! As a result we’ve played on trains, boats, on Table mountain and even in the first waterfall at Watervalletjie in Piketberg!
Tell us about a wedding that you remember and why…
The reach for a dream foundation asked us to play bonsela for a terminally ill bride who wanted a magical wedding. It was in Hout Bay and the wedding ran late because she had trouble breathing on her own. When she finally arrived she was so captivating. We were humbled by the experience and felt honored to share in her joy. She passed away the next day.
What piece of advice would you most like to offer brides and grooms reading this?
Use professional people and then let them do what they do best. Don’t micromanage on the day. Remember live musicians can fill in the gaps!
What is your service mission statement?
We care deeply about the quality of the service we provide – from the way we dress to the way we present our music. We want to make people happy with our music and continuously strive to be the best musicians we can be!
Get in touch with Titia
Book a venue that refers you to trusted suppliers as part of the service. Contact us at Hudson’s.
Read other interviews in our wedding supplier series:
Music & Entertainment
Dresses & Accessories
Stationery & Décor
Hair & Make-up