Genevieve Vieira
2 minute read
5 Nov 2014
10:00 am

The Muses redefined

Genevieve Vieira

Performing as part of an orchestra can be a fantastic experience, but for the gorgeous foursome that make up The Muses it was limiting.

GLAM GIRLS. From left, Mia Snyman, Ruby Ngoasheng, Laetitia van Wyk and Ashley Bodill.

These classically trained virtuosos always knew they had more to give and now they can – taking centre stage with their glamourous outfits, perfectly blow-waved hair and stringed instruments.

These girls love to shine, but they are more than just pretty faces. With two violins, one viola and a cello, The Muses know how to get a party started. Fusing their classical knowledge with contemporary pop songs, the girls have released yet another Pop On Strings album, the third instalment in the series.

“People underestimate us all the time,” says violinist Mia Snyman.

“The classical world is still very critical about what we do. Just because we ‘bedazzle’ our instruments doesn’t mean we don’t take our art seriously.”

The Muses have mastered memorising their charts and playing perfectly in tune while dancing around and singing on stage. This is a rarity in the classical world, as Snyman says: “In an orchestra there’s a buffer between you and your audience. You can easily hide behind your sheet music or the other band members. When we go on stage as The Muses, we are vulnerable, laying everything bare in front of our audience. It’s really difficult to do what we do and not many can. Pop On Strings opened up a whole new world for us.”

The quartet often also performs with lasers, making the bow – on to which the hardware is fitted – physically heavier and hot to the touch.

In a day and age where classical musicians are struggling to find work – 40 orchestras have closed down in Germany alone over the past year – The Muses have found their niche and are doing well.

“Our friends in the classical world are battling. We try never to forget where we started,” says Snyman.

THE MUSES. From left, Laetitia van Wyk, Ruby Ngoasheng, Mia Snyman and Ashley Bodill. Pictures: Supplied

THE MUSES. From left, Laetitia van Wyk, Ruby Ngoasheng, Mia Snyman and Ashley Bodill. Pictures: Supplied

“This is our lifestyle now. We are in such a good place (they perform six out of seven days every week), but we know it can all change in a split second.”

Violinist Ashley Bodill adds: “No matter how tired we are, we’re always excited to get up on stage and perform.”

According to booking agent Morgan Ross, the girls never turn down a show, which is why they are able to earn a living from doing what they love.

Making classical music cool again, the group’s latest release features songs originally made famous by John Newman, Clean Bandit, Coldplay and others. Describing the album as more advanced and intricate than their previous offerings, Snyman explains: “This is the evolution of what we’ve become over the years.”