This April an exhibition will accompany the concerts of violinists – and ambassadors for the forum -Jonathan Crow and Andrew Wan in Edmonton, April 20/21 and Vancouver, April 23 to 26 .
Visit www.leforumdesfabricants.org or www.themakersforum.org for details.
It is a great opportunity for musicians in the West to experience the rich array of violins,violas,cellos and bows currently being created in Canada.
For the violin I am sending,I was inspired by the beautiful flow of lines of a Giambattista Rogeri violin. While I have only memory and a few photos to go by ,I drew my impressions free hand on previously decided proportions, approximating the photo.
The basic measurements are well within the norm:
- string length: 328mm
- body length: 354mm
- upper bout:164mm
- centre bout:107mm
- bottom bout: 207mmm
Once I was happy with the drawing’s flow, I derived the inside -, the sound hole and the scroll templates , a basic set around which to construct the instrument. This is not an approach to copying,but a mindful development.
To be led by visual memory only, could lead the violin maker astray.Just think of the grotesque “Stainer copies”, which poured out of Germany in the 1800.With my project here, I felt Stradivari’s straight and upright C bouts were not my preference stylistically. I have to acknowledge though ,that Stradivaris centre bouts impart less stiffness below the breast,than the rounder open C’s of the Rogeri. With time we develop an imagination of the movement,the interaction of the arching influenced by outline and the placement of the “ffs” ( sound holes).
My violin at the forum is the third incarnation of this model and I am proud of the response and roundness of the tone. I chose a tough European spruce top,highly flamed Canadian dense red maple ribs and a one piece red maple slab back (fifth and last instrument from this aged board). The scroll is of homogenous and -as in the Rogeri of subtly shimmering European maple.
My own amber varnish on a well tanned golden background radiates like the warmth of the sound ,an unashamed flaming red.