MIAxALLY is a crossover classical duo project that is truly unique. Electric violinist Mia Asano and bagpiper/multi-instrumentalist Ally “the Piper” Crowley-Duncan joined forces in April of 2022, making their debut in Boston four months later. They play original songs and covers of pop rock, rock, and metal music with a Celtic twist – but their style branches out in so many directions, genres, and techniques, which prompts a dizzying whirlwind of infinite possibilities. Mia and Ally released their first full-length album together, “The Viral Hits”, just two weeks ago. Both classically trained musicians from a young age, they have set their sights on changing the approach and perception of their instruments and they are most certainly succeeding. It is safe to say that Mia and Ally share the desire to spread positivity through music – and it shows.
Their Dallas show at the Deep Ellum Art Co. last night was phenomenal. The energy, positivity, and fun were infectious for the crowd present to see them in action. Interestingly, the demographics showed many people aged 40 and over (I belong to the short-of-60 segment and was not the most senior, but I felt like a spring chicken – well… almost). One thing is sure: every single person enjoyed Mia x Ally’s show – from vigorous rhythmic clapping to full-out head-banging. I cannot find words that would do their performance justice. Writing they are extraordinary musicians and women seems to fall well short. Perhaps mentioning that they just landed in the top 10 on the Billboard charts for Best Classical Crossover on the day of the show may make it clearer. They were humbled and genuinely surprised when they received the news. We were not. Mia and Ally are on to something transformative and revolutionary. No doubt about it. None.
Mia Asano is from Denver, Colorado, she is half Japanese and half Estonian/Austrian. She turns 24 this Sunday (happy birthday!). She learned to play classical violin at five and received her first electric guitar at thirteen. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, she holds a dual major in Performance and Professional Music. She has a few million followers on social media platforms, mostly on TikTok, where she became an almost overnight sensation during her junior year when she started posting short videos of her mixing and recording songs. Her social media profiles give insight into who she is as a musician and person. She has collaborated with artists such as Lindsey Stirling (violinist), Dragonforce (power metal band), Tina Guo (cellist), Kiki Wongo (guitarist), to mention but a few. Just a few days before heading out with Ally on their “The Devil Went Down to Georgia Tour”, she performed with Two Steps from Hell in Europe. Curiosity: she plays a 7-string electric violin (E A D G C F Bb) because she wants to play viola, cello, and bass parts – turning her basically into a one-woman orchestra.
Ally “the Piper” Crowley-Duncan will turn 28 in December; she is from Latham, New York, and also has a few million followers. She is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, best known for playing the Great Highland Bagpipe. Forget everything you know regarding what a bagpipe sounds like and how and when it is played: in Ally’s hands, it is metamorphic! She began her career as a competitive bagpiper but decided eight years ago to focus on her music career. Just before going on tour with Mia, she performed at various Renaissance festivals on the East Coast. She performed extraordinarily unique covers of a series of Metallica songs in one of her TikTok videos. She was called out by a commenter who said Metallica “would not be pleased” (put mildly) that bagpipes belong in metal. Metallica officially commented that Ally’s work is awesome. (listen to her covers of Fade to Black and Enter Sandman!). Mid-October Ally released a piece she worked for a year on: “She’s a Pirate” (Pirates of the Caribbean). Go find it on your music platform of choice, it speaks for itself!
MIAxALLY has about 15 tour dates left in the USA and 2 in Canada. Do not miss the chance to see them live! I promise it will be an experience you will not forget. Check out their tour page for information.
A special thank you goes to fellow concertgoer Daniel Pesina for the feature photo.