Haiga Duo Brings Viola, Accordion + Poetry Performance To Town

Jan 11, 2018

The Haiga Duo is an idiosyncratic combination of Eric Hollander on viola and Jason Chen on accordion. Their songs range from long elegiac instrumentals to accompanied spoken word pieces informed by Hollander's interest in literature and poetry. The duo takes its name from a minimalist style of Japanese painting intended to accompany haiku.

The unique collaboration began seven years ago in Boston. Although Chen's original focus was piano, logistical difficulties led to him to experiment.

"We found to our surprise that the combination of the viola and accordion is kind of beautiful," says Hollander. 

The duo's call-and-response method of playing is best exhibited in their latest work, Renku, which takes its structure and approach from the Japanese poetry form of the same name- a humorous form of linked verse that emerged in the 14th century.

"It was sort of easy to work with because it had very, very specific rules," says Hollander. "It's almost like a game."

The Haiga Duo performs two free shows this weekend in downtown Fayetteville. Catch them at Art Ventures at 6:30 p.m. Friday and at Local Color Studio Gallery 6:30 p.m. Saturday.