gowan

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About gowan

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  1. A couple of years ago I stumbled and fell onto pavement and, in trying to save myself, I jammed the middle finger on my left hand into the pavement, tearing open the finger tip. Probably the callus kept me from getting a more serious injury but, even so, a couple of stitches were needed. The laceration healed fairly quickly but it was over a year before I didn't feel any pain pressing that finger on a string. That sounds bad but I was able to play after a month. Just some discomfort lasted some time to totally heal. Good luck
  2. I can read music on the stand using my progressive lenses, provided the stand is straight in front of me. That makes it difficult to share a stand but, so far, I've been able to work out an arrangement that, while not perfect, is doable. In our orchestra one can have a stand to oneself but that means you have to sit at the back of the section. I like Andrew's solution. I can see the conductor well enough using the "wrong" glasses so I think I will try Andrew's approach after my next eye exam.
  3. People are stimulated to cry for many reasons, feelings of joy, feelings of sadness even just in the presence of beauty. I don't see Elgar's "Nimrod" variation from the Enigma Variations is not sad, it expresses his feelings of love and gratitude for a dear friend. I have cried in an art museum from seeing a particularly beautiful painting. And it is common for people to cry at weddings, at least some of them for joy.
  4. One aspect of the mulberry wood chinrest is that the wood is very hard to get and, since mulberry (kuwa) is more of a shrub than a tree, it would be still more difficult to get a piece thick enough to make a chinrest. Japanese prices can be very high for other things. Check out the cost of a canteloupe melon, for example. https://www.rd.com/food/fun/expensive-japanese-fruit/
  5. A bow maker once gave me advice during a long episode of trying bows leading to the selection of one bow out of many. Specifically, I was advised to pick on the basis of the best sound the bow brings out of my instrument. At a certain level all the bows are capable of doing any bow technique, it is just a matter of "teaching" yourself how to make the bow do what you want it to do. From this it seems your Tepho bow is the one for you, for now . As for carbon fiber bows, I have one as a back-up for my good wood bow. I use the carbon bow when the wood one is being rehaired or the conditions (e.g. playing in a crowded, busy environment) indicate a higher likelihood of accidental damage to the wood bow.
  6. Yes, I suppose the "touchy-feely" approach is a romantic vision but that approach was pretty much all that makers had 250 years ago. CNC might be seen as a step in the evolution of tools. Another romantic idea is that a hand made object carries some of the character/personality of the maker. Perhaps that is what makes people pay a lot for instruments bench made by a single person when excellent instruments can be found for a lot less money that were made in a production shop environment. As for the Goldsmith method, maybe some of the "touchy-feely" stuff is involved in knowing what you have and what needs to be done to improve it. I have no problem with using CNC for some of the job of making violins. CNC is especially useful now, it seems, in physically demanding aspects (e.g. gouging out the maple back of a cello) or in making copies of a particular pattern. I don't see, at present, how CNC can deal with "on the fly" adjustments needed in working with, say, variations of local density of the wood.
  7. If instruments were to be built out of materials that are homogeneous and consistent then perhaps a computer controlled process could consistently make good violins. Unfortunately, wood is not homogeneous and is not consistence. The shape and the arching and the graduations are influenced by the inhomogeneous wood, so any computer controlled process would have to be able inherently to compensate for the lack of homogeneity in the wood. This is one place where the talents of an expert violin maker come into the fore. Feeling the wood, hefting it, flexing it, listening to it, feeling how the tools and wood interact when working the wood, etc., etc. are what the expert human violin maker does with the hands to guide the making process. None of these aspects have been reduced to numerical data usable by a computer program.
  8. Pernambuco was first imported into Europe for making dye (red) for cloth.
  9. Yeah, I get it. But there is a lot of free information, too.
  10. My post above recommending Noa Kageyama's Bulletproof Musician website is not a quick fix but rather a program to train to overcome performance anxiety. This approach is widely taught at conservatories for musicians and in competitive sports programs. As Kageyama says, to become able to cope with anxiety you have to work at it and practice for it, just as you have to work and practice to learn your instrumental technique. There is no magic pill.
  11. There has been a lot study of serious study of performance anxiety by psychologists. Noa Kageyama, a faculty member of the Juilliard School, has a website: https://bulletproofmusician. He offers free information on techniques to combat performance anxiety through the web site. Highly recommended.
  12. I guess there is no dilemma in the case of an instrument with catastrophic damage, e.g. caught in a flood or, say, dropped onto a concrete floor and having the neck detached and major damage to the plates or sides.
  13. Metal core strings, e.g. Helicore, last longer than most gut or composite core strings. Whether they sound better is a subjective judgment but most classical music players seem not to like them.
  14. As for the art vs. tool issue, are we talking about the "art" of crafting the object or are we discussing the appearance of the object?
  15. In his book Violin Dreams Arnold Steinhardt wrote about his journey finding his (current) violin. One of the violins he bought, played on in concerts, and recorded with it, was a genuine Guarneri del Gesu which had been stripped and revarnished. I no longer remember who did the revarnishing or why except that it was done in the USA at one of the major shops in New York, I think.