A masked violinist has been making music while strolling the streets of Alton. Local rumor has it that she last played during the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic and that she lives on an island in the Mississippi River.
She calls herself the Fiddle Assassin and claims her only enemy is the coronavirus.
“[I’m] trying to assassinate these bad vibes,” she said Tuesday on St. Louis on the Air.
The Fiddle Assassin has been playing an electric violin for several weeks, walking through downtown Alton and playing on street corners with a tiny, battery-powered amplifier attached to her hip.
“People, especially people that live in the downtown area, don’t really have a lot of green spaces to go out to, or they might be inside working,” she said. “So I thought, 'Maybe I’ll walk around and play and break up the silence a little bit of our lonely downtown,' and people really seemed to enjoy it.”
She loves seeing people smile and sneak up to get a photo of her playing from behind her mask. She also feels joy from hearing the rumors that have spread about her, some of them outlandish: “I’ve also heard that she flies into town on the Piasa Bird. That’d be hard to ride the bird up the river, I don’t know.”
Perhaps the Fiddle Assassin doesn’t know how hard it would be to ride the legendary creature because she has not, in fact, ridden a Piasa.
So who exactly is Alton’s mysterious Fiddle Assassin?
Some locals suspect she is Erin Jo Enochs of the Alton band the Four Roses. Asked about it on St. Louis on the Air, the mystery fiddler responded, “I can neither confirm nor deny.”
She explained, “There’s something so freeing in people not knowing who I am. It just allows me to be objective and to try new things that I might not if I was just myself.”
Hear her conversation with Sarah Fenske:
“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Joshua Phelps. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.
Send questions and comments about this story to email@example.com.