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Taylor Davis (born March 20, 1987) is an American violinist, arranger, and composer. Davis is best known for her violin-covers of music from video games featured on her YouTube channel "Taylor Davis", where she also features performances of her own arrangements of music from films and musicals. From July 2013, she has begun releasing her own original compositions as well.
During 2012, Davis released two albums and an assortment of singles. The first album is called Gaming Fantasy, and it features tunes from various video games arranged for violin. Six months later An Enchanted Christmas was released (as the name suggests, this album contains a collection of warm re-arrangements of several Christmas songs). In January 2013, Davis published her third album called Game On: 2 Player mode. It has been co-produced and arranged along with Australian pianist Lara de Wit. With the help of a MIDI keyboard and the DAW "Logic Pro", Davis created all of the orchestral backtracks for these works. Legendary Movie Music, the fourth album, was released in July 2013. Davis released two more albums: Melodies of Hyrule: Songs from "The Legend of Zelda" in November 2013 and The Anime and Game Collection in July 2014. Three months later, in October, Davis launched a crowdfunding campaign for the creation of her seventh album, the first one made up exclusively of original music. The platform chosen for this project was PledgeMusic. The campaign achieved its goal in around a week, and the new album, entitled Taylor Davis, was released in March 2015 and debuted at #10 on the Billboard Classical Charts.
Taylor Davis was born on March 20, 1987 at Western Springs, Illinois. Her passion for videogames began when she was a child, especially since her older brother often involved her in his gaming sessions. Davis started playing violin at the age of 8, while in elementary school, after being inspired by a young girl's performance of "Silent Night" on the violin at a school assembly. Davis was heavily bullied in middle school; it was a sad and lonely time for her. This lasted until she started attending high school, where she met her future husband, Jarred, who shared and supported her passions and interests, which helped Davis regain her self-confidence. They married in 2011, after being best friends for 14 years. While in high school, Davis began playing video games music, and introduced this genre (especially tracks taken from Final Fantasy series) into the school's ambient. Later, Davis attended Gonzaga University, where she worked to introduce video game music to the college orchestra and quartet members. Because of her influence, some of the game music would be played at weddings and other gigs. Davis graduated from Gonzaga magna cum laude with a degree in Public Relations, and a minor degree in Violin Performance. After attending college, she intended to get into the profession of scoring music for games, films, or other media. It did not work out at the time, so she took a business job for a short period, while at the same time posting YouTube videos on the side (as a classically trained violinist, she was looking for a way to keep music a part of her life.) Davis worked as a Marketing/PR person for a non-profilt organization until November 2011; then she decided to quit her job, so she could concentrate all her efforts into developing her career through YouTube.
Davis' all-time favorite video game is Final Fantasy VII, and among her favorite tracks to perform is "Gerudo Valley" from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
The first video game console Davis ever used was an Intellivision system.
Career and activity on YouTube
Davis started her first YouTube channel under the pseudonym "ViolinTay" on April 29, 2010. Since then, she captured media and people's attention, thanks to her top-notch technique and versatility, and the continuous growth of subscribers and video-views on her channel. As of 2015, Davis' first channel's statistics are: 158 videos posted, over 200,000,000 video-views and over 1,000,000 subscribers. Her most popular video (which has collected over 18,000,000 views) is entitled "He's a Pirate", where she plays an intense re-arrangement of Klaus Badelt's track which is featured in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. On March 23, 2015, almost five years after the launch of her first channel, Davis started a second YouTube channel titled "Behind the Strings", which is focused on sharing more aspects of Davis' activity to the audience. As of 2015, her second channel's statistics are: 26 videos posted, over 18,000 subscribers and over 200,000 video-views.
In October 2013, Critical Hit band's debut took place. This is a group formed by top-notch musicians, led by Jason Hayes (keyboardist and composer of World of Warcraft video game's soundtrack) and Michael Gluck (entrepreneur and pianist under the pseudonym "Piano Squall"). Davis joined the band in the same year, and beyond her, Hayes and Gluck, the other band members are: composer Adam Gubman, keyboardist David Paich (Toto's co-founder); violinists Michelle Jade, Caroline Campbell and Molly Rogers; bassists Carlitos del Puerto and Tim MacDonald; cellists Tina Guo, Ginger Murphy and Leah Metzler; percussionists Doug Belote, Joel Taylor and Kevin Dooley; guitarists Kole Hicks, Nita Strauss, Chet Stevens and Laurence Juber; pianist Salome Scheidegger; floutists Sara Andon, Shannon Canchola, and the "World Music" woodwinds-reeds-wind synthesizers specialist Pedro Eustache. The band published its first album in the same period.
Davis has also performed live at a number of prestigious events all around the world including:
June 2012: performance at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles, along with YouTube musicians Lara de Wit and Kyle Landry.
August 2012: exhibition with the College of the Holy Cross Goodtime Marching Band.
November 2012: performing Chance Thomas' Theme for Rohan in the publicity video for the videogame The Lord of the Rings Online.
February / March 2013: exhibitions at New York and London for the "Titanic II Global Launch event", along with Glenn Shorrock (singer-songwriter), the band McGuinness & Co, and guitarist Sungha Jung.
March 2013: "Curse WildStar PAX East After Party" performance in Boston.
November 2013: BlizzCon concert in Anaheim, California. This was Critical Hit band's first concert (and then, the first concert for Davis as a member of the band).
November 2013: Wizard Entertainment World Comic Con exhibition at Austin, Texas.
End of 2013/ January 2014: Violin soloist in the soundtrack of the new tactical role-playing video game The Banner Saga, along with singer-songwriters Peter Hollens, Malukah, and Johann Sigurdarson. The soundtrack was composed by the Grammy-nominated composer Austin Wintory.
April 2014: Davis' first two own concerts – the first one took place in San Francisco, while the second was held in New York City.
June 2014: performances at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles. Davis played with Austin Wintory, Peter Hollens and Malukah as part of The Banner Saga's soundtrack-team, as well as part of the Critical Hit at Video Games Live concert/event.
August 2014: exhibition with Critical Hit band at Nerdfest event in Orlando, Florida. Critical Hit co-headlined the event along with Nobuo Uematsu's band Earthbound Papas.
September 2014: Davis' third and fourth own concerts – the first one took place in Los Angeles, while the second was held in Seattle. For these two concerts, Davis was accompanied on the piano by Critical Hit's pianist Salome Scheidegger.
December 2014: Davis played with Austin Wintory, Peter Hollens, Malukah and a choral group at The Game Awards show (which was held in Las Vegas at The AXIS auditorium) for the World-premiere of the upcoming video game The Banner Saga 2.
July 2015: Fashion Show gig at South Beach in Miami, Florida.
July 2015: Participation at "VidCon" conference, which was held in Anaheim, California; Davis will be guest/speaker of the event "The Mystery of Being A Musician On YouTube", and will host the "Open Mic" discussion along with YouTube musician Dodie Clark.
July 2015: "Music Guest of Honor" at the event "San Japan" in Texas. She will perform alongside pianist Salome Scheidegger.
October 2015: Davis is hired by The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's composer Marcin Przybyłowicz for recording the violin-parts of his new main theme, created for the expansion pack "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Hearts Of Stone".
Taylor Davis: Live in Concert (2015)
On May 28, 2015, Davis announced her first US concert tour. The tour began on September 29, 2015 in Northampton, Massachusetts at Iron Horse Music Hall, and concluded on October 28, 2015 in Austin, Texas at Long Center, after performing at 20 different locations. She was accompanied on every concert by pianist Salome Scheidegger. Tickets pre-order started on June 5, 2015.
Taylor Davis: Live in Concert - European Tour (2016)
Right after the conclusion of her first tour through the United States, Taylor Davis announced her new European series of concerts, where she toured from February to March 2016 through the major cities of Europe, for a total of 14 dates. Tickets pre-order started on October 29, 2015.
Gaming Fantasy (2012)
Brothers (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Metal Gear Saga
Dearly Beloved (Kingdom Hearts)
Cid's Theme (Final Fantasy VII)
Time's Scar (Chrono Cross)
To Zanarkand (Final Fantasy X)
Grief and Sorrow (Naruto)
Roses of May (Final Fantasy IX)
Ezio's Family (Assassin's Creed 2)
Frog's Theme (Chrono Trigger)
Chrono Trigger Theme
Hikari (Kingdom Hearts)
Sadness and Sorrow (Naruto)
Grief and Sorrow (Naruto)
An Enchanted Christmas (2012)
Carol of the Bells
The Christmas Song
Let It Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!
O Holy Night
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
O Little Town of Bethlehem
I Saw Three Ships
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Auld Lang Syne Scottish Medley
Game On: 2 Player Mode (2012) – Taylor Davis & Lara de Wit
Assassin's Creed 3 Theme
Passion (Kingdom Hearts II)
Fairy Tail Theme
Aeris' Theme (Final Fantasy VII)
Guile's Theme (Street Fighter II)
Sons of Liberty (Metal Gear Solid 2)
Roxas (Kingdom Hearts II)
To Galaxy (Halo 4)
An End, Once and for All (Mass Effect 3)
Eyes on Me (Final Fantasy VIII)
Song of Storms (Zelda OoT)
Legendary Movie Music (2013)
He's a Pirate (From "Pirates of the Caribbean")
Hedwig's Theme (From "Harry Potter")
Now We Are Free (From "Gladiator")
Lux Aeterna (From "Requiem for a Dream")
My Heart Will Go On (From "Titanic")
Duel of the Fates (From "Star Wars")
Jurassic Park Theme
James Bond Theme
Mission Impossible Theme
For the Love of a Princess (From "Braveheart")
Concerning Hobbits (From "The Lord of the Rings")
Raiders March (From "Indiana Jones")
Melodies of Hyrule: Songs from The Legend of Zelda (2013)
Gerudo Valley (From "Ocarina of Time")
Bolero of Fire (From "Ocarina of Time")
Song of Time and Song of Storms (From "Ocarina of Time")
Dragon Roost Island (From "the Wind Waker")
Kokiri Forest (From "Ocarina of Time")
Great Fairy Fountain
Midna's Lament (From "Twilight Princess")
Nocturne of Shadow (From "Ocarina of Time")
Serenade of Water (From "Ocarina of Time")
Sheik's Theme (From "Ocarina of Time")
Lon Lon Ranch (From "Ocarina of Time")
Dark World Theme (From "a Link to the Past")
Ballad of the Goddess (From "Skyward Sword")
Tal Tal Heights and the Legend of Zelda Main Theme
Lost Woods (From "Ocarina of Time")
The Anime and Game Collection (2014)
Dr. Wily's Castle (From "Mega Man 2″)
Grief and Sorrow (From "Naruto")
The Last of Us Theme
Attack on Titans Theme
Lilium (From "Elfen Lied")
Fairy Tail Slow Theme
Merry-Go-Round of Life (From "Howl's Moving Castle")
From Past to Present (From "Skryim")
Angel Beats! Theme
Cosmo Canyon (From "Final Fantasy VII")
The Path of Wind (From "My Neighbor Totoro")
Binks' Sake (From "One Piece")
Halo 2 Theme
Fairy Tail Theme Remix (Bonus Track)
Taylor Davis (2015)
Halo of Light
A New Journey
Dawn of Hope
Tales of the Wind
Grief and Sorrow – released February 16, 2012
Zelda Medley – released March 7, 2012
Ezio's Family – released March 30, 2012
Arrival to Earth – released June 28, 2012
Wide Awake (violin version) – released November 5, 2012
Promentory – released November 26, 2012
Journey Medley – released February 14, 2013
Game of Thrones Theme – released March 26, 2013
Elizabeth's Theme Medley – released April 23, 2013
Downton Abbey Theme – released May 2, 2013
The Avengers Theme – released August 27, 2013
Misty Mountains – released August 27, 2013
Never Meant to Belong – released August 27, 2013
Wake Me Up (violin / electric violin version) – released October 1, 2013
The Circle of Life – released March 13, 2014
Let it go (violin version) – released March 27, 2014
Doctor Who Theme – released April 24, 2014
Thriller (violin version) – released October 30, 2014
The Hobbit – The Last Goodbye – released December 15, 2014
The Hanging Tree – released December 30, 2014
Swordland - released September 2, 2015
Colors of the Wind - released September 24, 2015
Star Wars Medley - released December 16, 2015
For the Dancing and the Dreaming (From "How to Train Your Dragon 2") - released January 14, 2016
with Lara de Wit
Fear Not This Night – Guild Wars 2 (ft. Malukah) – published September 29, 2012
Assassin's Creed 3 Theme – released November 7, 2012
Halo 4: To Galaxy – released November 9, 2012
The Phantom of the Opera Medley – released August 27, 2013
with Peter Hollens
The Rains of Castamere – released June 7, 2013
World of Warcraft Medley (ft. Evynne Hollens) – released January 7, 2014
Into the West – released June 11, 2014
May it be – released June 24, 2014
with The Hound + The Fox
Demons (Imagine Dragons cover) – released October 3, 2013
For the Dancing and the Dreaming – released September 9, 2014
with Home Free
Silent Night – released November 13, 2014
The Devil Went Down To Georgia – released September 18, 2015
with Jennifer Thomas
What Child Is This – released December 1, 2015
This discography was compiled from iTunes and Loudr.
NOTE: Taylor Davis also appears on several YouTube videos which are published on other channels, such as:
'YouTube Rewind: Turn Down for 2014', published on "Youtube Spotlight" channel;
'Angry Birds Main Theme', published on "Critical Hit" channel;
'Battle for New York (From Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3)', published on "Critical Hit" channel;
'Taylor Davis - Critical Hit Spotlight', published on "Critical Hit" channel;
'Hearthstone (exclusive rehearsal footage)', published on "Critical Hit" channel;
'Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (exclusive rehearsal footage)', published on "Critical Hit" channel;
'Legends of Azeroth (from World of Warcraft)', published on "Critical Hit" channel;
'Demons (Imagine Dragons Cover) feat. Taylor Davis - The Hound + The Fox', published on "The Hound + The Fox" channel;
'For the Dancing and the Dreaming (Cover) - The Hound + The Fox (feat. Taylor Davis)', published on "The Hound + The Fox" channel;
'Journey Medley (Behind the Scenes)', published on "Landon Donoho" channel;
'Behind the Scenes - Nebulous by Taylor Davis', published on "FifGen Films" channel;
'Behind The Scenes - Pirates of the Caribbean by Taylor Davis', published on "FifGen Films" channel;
'Behind The Scenes - Gerudo Valley (The Legend of Zelda)', published on "FifGen Films" channel;
Awards and nominations
List of female violinists
Lara de Wit
Official Patreon page