If you are a musician, potentially interested in violin, viola or cello, or maybe an established instrument maker, you may have noticed that something has broke in music at the end of the 18th century and today got worse: fierce competition, Statvs Qvo, conservatism, elitism, even orchestras closures…
Before, everybody was a composer, improviser and the Germans even designed an offensive term for musicians who could not compose.
There was some kind of different backbone in the thing we call music. Some kind of fundament upon which you could be FREE.
As a musician you could go and improvise or create music from thin air.
As an instrument creator, you could go and design your own models or create totally new instruments: consort viols (1497), violins (1511), seven course lute and the French seven-string viol aftet 1660ths. Or even a Violoncello around the same time.
This fundament was done with at the end of the 18th century so efficiently that in the 19th century the French academics pronounced something along this line, "The ancient masters were giants in comparison with us, the moderns" (Gombrich).
Since then, violin making has reduced to making copies. And then copies of copies. And then copies of copies of copies of copies… Today it is copies from copies of posters. Today the ART in art of violin making is done with. It's an "industry" no different from furniture making industry…
Music making reduced to the technically perfect rendition of printed music, according to what's currently considered to be the standard way of interpretation, and if you change the standard fingering, bowing, phrasing, or nuances or God forbid add an ornament… Do it at your own risk, administration is not responsible…
Why do we devalue anything we touch, maybe even music too? Maybe because we lost touch with our roots… And are very reluctant to learn from history lessons.
But it's not all doom and gloom.
Working with a group of instrument makers from around the world, teaching the foundations: lost ancient art of creating original fine instrument models using the simplest tools and just seven ingredients in my 12-step process, free-hand. And it's a nice learning background too, just look at that ocean.
Some instrument makers object: "Prove it! Prove it it's not all of your own making…"
The truth is, there are a lot of very clear documents about it. But violin making schools don't teach that. They just teach making copies from posters.
Some makers object: "And, so… OKay.. But, does it work?
The truth is, you can see why some world famous musicians ordered up to 6 instruments of my work.
I love to joke about it, "They ordered 6 times, because the first 5 did not work" 🤣
And other makers say, "It's all maybe interesting, but the musicians want only copies".
The truth is, no musician want just a copy when they know what amazing depth is hidden behind these gracious outlines we call a "violin" and when they share this with their audience.
That forms an instant bridge between musician and the audience. A bridge between audience's mind and heart and the heavenly harmony that I believe music is, please, correct me if you do not agree that music is a heavenly experience, specially experienced LIVE.
Is this welcome in your career, yes or no?
Stay in touch if you're an instrument maker and if you want even more art and more freedom and more something so exquisitely special in your work… if you agree with the common saying, "an original is always better than a copy".
Stay in touch if you're a violinist or violist or cellist and you are opened to learning even more.
Yes or no? And by the way, share this post with anyone you feel might benefit. They might thank you for this.