Casey Jefferson

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About Casey Jefferson

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  1. I agreed with what you've said so far, and I know my post gonna get some eyes rolled as well just because the example I gave happened to be Strad versus the rest. A good violin is a good violin is a good violin.
  2. My take, as a player, is that the player make the sound. I don't have any credentials to make statements, so you may read my comments with a pinch of salt. Many of my peers, as well as young players, often play with strong bow grip. I experimented with different way to hold the bow, slight changes in finger placement will change the quality of sound. More so with the finger strength when holding the bow. Menuhin once said one should hold the bow as if one is picking up a newborn bird. My finding is that with very light bow hold, and with the right finger placement, I was able to draw a strong sound that sounded clear at a distance. Strong grip will disturb the overtones in a way, while not enough to sound bad, but hurt the "carrying ability" - ultimately suppressing the overtones. However, such playing is seductive, player will hear huge sound coming out from the instrument, and to certain extent, intonation became easier and more forgiving. Another aspect on carrying power is about the singer's formant, I've heard a soprano overwhelming a grand piano (who probably didn't realize what's happening) and filling up the stage, when I listen at the back of the hall. I've been trying to mimic that by changing how I bow, with very positive results. Coincidentally, strong bow grip will tend to suppress what I call the "rich and ringing" region of the spectrum, it'll just take away that sound that fill up the ears. Also, when an instrument is played in a way where overtones vibrate smoothly, for a long period of time, the instrument will eventually develop stronger overtones that will carry. A few observations I gathered over the years: 1) a new Cremonese made violin, didn't sound very lively or ringing at first, eventually rings better after playing on it for a while. This violin had been played previously by other player for a short period of time before returning onto the shelf. 2) 3 violins from same (another) living cremonese maker, 2 belongs to my friend and he had it for few years, and I have 1 my own for few years too. Mine sounded very different from his, while both of his violins sounded very similar. Interestingly, he also just acquired an older (newly restored) violin, that also sounded similar albeit better in response. I can almost feel his playing in the violin. And a few more similar observations. We often hear the violin doesn't make the player. And we also hear some violins better suited to certain players. We will never sound like Heifetz by just playing on his del gesu. I believe the instrument alone doesn't make "carrying power" complete without putting the player into the equation. EDIT: with rare exceptions from the above remarks, I've heard a fantastic soloist played twice in the same hall with same orchestra, but one with Strad, and one with modern. The Strad just had the special sound it almost sounded as if he's playing right in front of me. The modern just didn't have that...
  3. That's very interesting, thanks for starting the thread! So here's the update. It was indeed, a false hope. I have no problem admit that. while it did project the sound different than violins that I got to test side by side, it start to fall apart when I tested it at larger space. I didn't expect it to, due to the it being a cheap workshop violin. I'll send this violin for further adjustment and see it can bring out more of that quality. Till then, that's what it is. Thank you guys for participating this discussion.
  4. That rings a bell, my friend did learn the most when he doing adjustment right at the concert hall for fine players. But still, I want to first check with him if he can actually make instruments do that projection effect though. He did always help me adjusting my Italian violin (made in 2015) and always did a fantastic job, but tomorrow I'm hoping that he'll be free and I wish to do a session of the infamous projection test at his place.
  5. I can relate to that phenomenon. It's more of the acoustic, but some instrument do better than others under the ear in such places which may or may not sound loud to the audiences.
  6. I've been trying to digest this, my friend who's doing really fine work on adjustments said the same thing that he can make the violin sounded more to the audiences but compromising the sound to the player. Can you elaborate a bit more maybe what's the concept behind this? I need to ask my friend about it too.
  7. They heard it too, pretty obvious, not a small difference. To be honest, it took me a few tests to finally believe what happened. Yes! But whether the effect will translate to the microphone is something I cannot guarantee. I'm curious how it'll turn out, to be honest. But for sure I'll be taking a video clip trying to capture the effect.
  8. There were different rooms that I tested, some bigger than other. This effect also happen when my students/colleagues played it as well, at least 4 different players.
  9. I did, include another violin every single time. Without a fail, it showed the differences. And not just same violin to for comparison, it's always of different quality.
  10. Without quoting posts individually, I'll just do a general reply. First thing first, fortunately, I paid peanuts for this violin in question. So even if it's just a false hope, at least I can make some peanut butter jam out of it. It's just that I did not expect it to do anything special, but it did. And I can see why there are many people are being skeptical about this topic, especially many blind tests were done. On top of it these tests whether public or private, only a small percentage of people have access to them, so for the rest of us it remained a mystery. I for one never heard this effect anywhere else apart from artists playing in concert halls. One thing for sure, this violin projects the sound differently. I did another casual test today in a different house and I'd describe the sound as rich and warm but taking up a lot of the "view" - hence the term "big sound". One can feel the sound ringing right beside the ear. It's NOT the sparkling frequency range that is projecting (which this violin didn't quite have in the first place), it's the body of the tone, without harshness and shrillness. Whether people will believe it's a fact or just placebo effect, doesn't really change the fact that I heard what I heard and it's real. Keep the comments coming guys.
  11. How should I put this, it's not the volume of the sound. It's the impression of where the sound come from. Hard to put it in words...
  12. I didn't do enough test to confirm this, but this is even apparent in a small bed room but hard walls - the violin doesn't sound loud standing right in front, but going to the corner one can hear that the violin is producing huge sound. Naturally one will think that it seems like the room is doing the work. It's at my student's house, and my student's violin sounded not just tiny, as if the sound just stays around the violin, while mine sounded "in your face", kind of. So far there seems none of the room that didn't show this but they are not large halls, not even medium size. That'll be my next project. Interestingly the sound was unusually large at a distance that it gave an impression that doesn't seem even logical. I'll test more at different rooms and halls with different acoustics and see how it'll do. So far the responses indicating that this is something very positive.
  13. To add more to the topic, I've played plenty of violins that sound rather mediocre under ear but sounded powerful at a distance, but don't recall any of them doing that hooked up a pair of speakers thingy. And a bonus, the violin didn't at all sound quiet under ear.
  14. Michael, good to see you again! To be honest, when I said in my initial post that it's my first time hearing the phenomenon, it's more like first time that an instrument that I can actually lay my hands on and play, that sounded that way. But I've actually heard it on 2 artists - Ray Chen on his Strad before he used his modern full time, and Kavakos on his Falmouth Strad years ago, in the same concert hall. The violin in question, let's just say it's a no name violin, and I've been playing on it for a year only to discover this recently. At first I notice it generate quite a strong reverb when playing in a nice echoey room, much stronger than other violins. Then one day I asked my student to play for me and that's how I realized it. I've gotten comments like "it sounded like your violin was amplified" from people who heard it. is it the same as what the great Strads and Del Gesus are doing? I wouldn't bet on it though. I'll need to investigate more by playing it in a concert hall and see how it'll do. Interesting. Martin, It's obvious enough that it sounded so different. In fact, more acoustically reflective spaces showed more of that differences.