Blanks and Apprenticeships
Even as a young assistant violin maker, practicing making new instruments always had a stronger appeal to me than restoring and repairing old instruments and selling them. And yet how unsatisfying were the results when i tried to approach the designs of the old masters! There were so many unanswered questions…
Questions on the detailed intentions for the overall construct, questions on the design, questions on varnishing. To put it briefly: blanks that could not be filled in by any amount of long and intensive study of literature on the subject. In professional circles, there are just as many explanations on the designs of old masters as there are experts. While i began to understand individual aspects of their studies, even combining this knowledge with practical studies revealed to me no actual construction design that was in any way conclusive.
Asking the instruments themselves may reveal reconstructions, repairs and deformations – giving one perhaps a history of its use. But one can only ever guess at their original condition. I never had sufficient access to the designs of their makers.
Ideas take shape
The consequence: constant dissatisfaction with the multitude of unanswered questions. Was there no scope for satisfying quality in new designs? I sought a teacher who was successful at making exclusively new instruments. Perhaps learning from the living would successfully unify tried and tested knowledge with my own experience and questions. The idea of a principle gradually began to take shape.
Just as the perfect circle forms an aesthetically complete shape around an epicentre, so must an instrument be designed! From the laws of an aesthetically pleasing corpus, the ratios of the internal space must divulge theoretically and practically useful details! The result should be an instrument that lives up to all demands on acoustics and technical play.
My designs revolve around achieving the exact sound that is imagined. That was the starting point and aim of my interest from the beginning; the recurrent theme of all attempts.
I based my starting point on the laws of music. The idea was that all details of the instrument should form a continuous whole. Through many years of endeavouring, I developed a construction design in which, for example, ratios of consonant and dissonant intervals in complex coherence with many other principles led to a tonally excellent result. This is so in the arching design, for instance, from which the thicknesses of the plates and the silhouette can be logically derived. Countless efforts have culminated in stability, low weight and optimal vibrancy, from which the quality of sound and play can only benefit.
Powerful, flexible sound, perfect evenness of all strings and an enormous richness of timbres are no product of chance in my instruments; these features are reproducible at consistently high quality.
And should you on occasion need to make music in an acoustically dead environment, the ‘inner reverberation’ of my instruments will still allow liberated, cantabile play.
My construction design is not legitimized by tradition, rather by the satisfaction of my customers with the immediate and consistent sound quality of my instruments.