And The Winner Of The 2016 Tiny Desk Contest Is ... : All Songs Considered Out of more than 6,000 entries, the musician selected as the winner of the Tiny Desk Contest created something "captivating," "serpentine," "beautiful," "unusual" and "tremendous."
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And The Winner Of The 2016 Tiny Desk Contest Is ...

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And The Winner Of The 2016 Tiny Desk Contest Is ...

And The Winner Of The 2016 Tiny Desk Contest Is ...

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

You know, one of the exciting things about working here at NPR is you get to go upstairs from time to time and watch bands and artists perform behind this tiny desk. You know people like Adele and Tom Jones and T-Pain, but there are also many up-and-comers. And last year, we started a contest for people who were unknown, and we asked them to submit their music to try and win a chance to come perform a Tiny Desk concert here at NPR. And we're about to announce this year's winner, and I honestly - and say I honestly - do not yet know who it is. NPR All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen does, and he's here to introduce the winner to me and to you. And Bob, the floor is yours.

BOB BOILEN, BYLINE: I have brought you a video. We received over 6,000 submissions.

GREENE: Which is really cool.

BOILEN: This is the one six judges independently loved. And I am floored and so thrilled to do this. So - you ready for this?

GREENE: I'm ready.

BOILEN: OK, here we go.

(SOUNDBITE OF GAELYNN LEA SONG, "SOMEDAY WE'LL LINGER IN THE SUN")

BOILEN: So we see a little baby amplifier sitting on a desk. We see somebody playing a violin.

GREENE: Playing a violin, but we only see what, her left hand?

BOILEN: Right.

GREENE: We don't see her face and don't see the rest of the instrument.

(SOUNDBITE OF GAELYNN LEA SONG, "SOMEDAY WE'LL LINGER IN THE SUN")

GREENE: All right, it says Gaelynn Lea across the top. I'm presuming this is - I mean, that's how we sort of knew this is a woman. We don't - we haven't seen her yet. The camera's panning out.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOMEDAY WE'LL LINGER IN THE SUN")

GAELYNN LEA: (Singing) Our love's a complex vintage wine, all rotted leaves and lemon rinds.

BOILEN: Gaelynn Lea is holding her violin with their feet at the base of the violin. The violin's about the size she is.

GREENE: Wow. She has a medical condition, I gather.

BOILEN: Yes, it's called brittle bone disease, a congenital disease she was born with. But the way she plays the violin, which is more like - it's like a cello - right? - in her body. The way she caresses the violin is only possible because of the way that her body is.

GREENE: Because of her size, she's almost using a violin as if it were a large cello.

BOILEN: And her voice...

GREENE: ...It's beautiful.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOMEDAY WE'LL LINGER IN THE SUN")

LEA: (Singing) Don't tell me we've got time.

BOILEN: So Gaelynn Lea is a fiddle teacher and obviously a performer. She's from Duluth, Minn. She's been playing classical music and fiddle music for about 20 years. She's 32.

GREENE: She made an artistic choice in the video, clearly, to not reveal herself and her image...

BOILEN: ...Right...

GREENE: ...Immediately. Did you talk to her about that or understand -

BOILEN: I haven't, but I think some of the judges didn't watch the video at all and just listened to the music. I think it was intentional that you be taken in by the music before you looked at her and thought oh, that's amazing that she's able to do that.

(SOUNDBITE OF GAELYNN LEA SONG, "SOMEDAY WE'LL LINGER IN THE SUN")

BOILEN: We all found the melody in the song - it wouldn't let go. It just stuck with us. And that's - I mean, that's why she won. More than anything, she was able to convey something that was not forgettable.

GREENE: And so what happens now?

BOILEN: Well, Gaelynn Lea's going to come and play a Tiny Desk concert here - upstairs at NPR. And a lot of people who would have never, ever seen or heard her music will be blessed by this beautiful, beautiful sound.

GREENE: I can't wait to meet her. And you, our listeners, will also be able to hear Gaelynn Lea herself tonight in an interview with All Things Considered, and you can watch her winning submission online at npr.org. Bob, that is quite a video, and she seems like quite a musician. Thanks a lot.

BOILEN: Thanks.

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