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Andrew Song

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Everything posted by Andrew Song

  1. Great to hear Alina's instrument sold. It was fun to play on -- very smooth sound with good response, especially on the upper registers.
  2. Was there for a few hours today, and plan on returning tomorrow earlier on before my flight back home.
  3. I went to the VSA for the first time this year as a player, and only from Thursday night to Saturday. The number of people I met and amount I learned from makers was incredible -- I've had a lot to think about since returning home. There were so many highlights for me as a player, but the ones I can think of off the top of my head include: Stefan's two instruments (DG and Strad) in the "new makers" room. Stefan talked me through his inspiration for them, and as (radically) different as they were, they both played wonderfully. I still think about them, more than a week after the VSA -- and I would have loved to take either home! The sheer number of submitted entries in the competition room. I thought I was prepared to try lots of instruments, but wow! I was immediately overwhelmed as soon as the doors opened Thursday night. Ihle's instrument, which had a crazy amount of grip on the G string. Really fun to play. Many of the amazing instruments and bows in the new makers room.
  4. I'll be there for Friday and Saturday -- my first VSA! I'm not a maker -- just a player who's interested in looking at the instruments and seeing the spectacle -- but I'm looking forward to it just the same.
  5. Thanks for the help Don and Mike. Which parts of the schedule (https://vsa.memberclicks.net/vsa-2014-schedule) are the "come and play some instruments" times, or is it more of a continuous, everyday kind of thing?
  6. Howdy folks, I wanted to attend the VSA this year for the first time, mostly as a player wanting to try the competition instruments as well as the 'side room' I hear they usually have set up. Reading the VSA website makes me confused about how I'm supposed to do this, though. Do I need to officially register for the convention if I'm there to play instruments? Will I actually need to be there for all of the days? The tentative schedule suggests the bulk of the time during the first few days will be judging, vendors, and seminars. Given what I want to do, should I focus my time around the "Exhibitor Hall" times? And are people really going to stick around from 11pm to midnight on Saturday for "Instrument and bow check-out"? Any suggestions would be welcome!
  7. I'm asking as a player looking for an instrument and as someone who, in general, is very interested in the "hardware" side of the business and wanting to grow my knowledge and understanding. Are attendees wishing to try the VSA (+ other) instruments required to purchase a conference pass? I'm afraid most (if not all) the talks around making would be over my head at this time. Best, Andrew
  8. Thanks David. Are players or other members of the public usually allowed to play and try some of the instruments bing presented? I've never been to a VSA before.
  9. Hi folks, Does anyone know if there are to be any well-attended modern maker exhibits happening in the US this year? Mondomusica has already passed and I won't be able to make it to the Players meet Makers event at AFVBM in Chicago this weekend. Does anyone know if Julie Reed is planning on running another exhibition this year? Best, A
  10. Claudia, Really appreciate the hard work you and Joseph Curtin (+ the rest of your team) have put into this. Has this paper been submitted for peer review yet? And assuming there will be follow-up research to be done, is there anything you can divulge regarding future plans? EDIT: I somehow missed the fact that the paper has already been published in PNAS, which I'm assuming means the paper was reviewed.
  11. Friends, I've been listening to Anne Akiko Meyer's newest album (Four Seasons), which is notably recorded on the ex-Vieuxtemps del Gesu. This got me thinking: are there other recordings where the instrument is known and is of some repute? There are plenty by artists who have notable instruments, but it's often not revealed which specific one they're playing on. The only other example I know off the top of my head is another Meyer recording "Seasons...dreams" which was recorded after she received use of the ex-Molitor Strad.
  12. Tarisio is also including some photos of Heifetz and the case:
  13. Ben, Brad: I believe this is the link you were looking for.
  14. No idea about the content, but that logo and site layout look suspiciously familiar... EDIT: Here's a translation for each of the scored categories: 工艺: Workmanship 音色: Sound 材料: Materials 油漆: Varnish 风格: Design
  15. A shameless hometown plug here: Edwin Outwater, the music director of my local symphony, was invited there to conduct one of the pieces with the YTSO. He left some of his comments on his blog here.
  16. What is this "rosinol" you speak of (and where can I get some)? A google search doesn't yield much... Many thanks
  17. Not that much...~15 hours a week? I'm at around 80 hours now, which still seems quite low. The 120 hr number is a good rule of thumb, though... After cleaning the strings thoroughly with alcohol last night, I can feel a bit of the response and warmth return to the string (I think it's time to ditch my 3-year old Tartini Mini block...sigh...). I'm a bit more satisfied with the sound now, though I'm still noticing a slight deterioration in quality since they were fully settled into my instrument. Thanks for the tips, everyone!
  18. An update! My obligato A eventually settled nicely and it turned out to work quite nicely with my instrument. Pirastro was kind enough to send me a set of Passiones to try out (as well as some Evah/Oliv rosin), but I wasn't blown away by the strings. Quite a bit of volume: more than the Obligatos, less than Evahs -- the G and E strings were my favourite, the A was in the middle of the pack in terms of quality, and the D was the weakest of the bunch, in my opinion. I used the 13 1/2 gauge strings that come in a set. On problem I'm having with the Obligatos now is that they seem to die off fairly quickly. I'm at week 5 with my Obligatos and I've noticed they've lost a bit of their response and warmth. I could replace them, but at ~$90 CAD a set, switching strings every month isn't something my wallet is looking forward to. Does anyone know of an Obligato-like string that's either a bit more durable or a bit cheaper? Zyex were brought up earlier in this thread, but I haven't had a chance to take them for a spin yet. Thanks for everyone's help!
  19. Everyone seems to have their own favourite Beethoven cycle, and there are certainly enough sets out there to go around... Personally, Karajan's 1963 cycle is my favourite, but I know some here will disagree. As for interpretation vs. audio quality, here's my take on the issue: if I'm studying the work and trying to learn more about specific elements of the piece, an older recording with poorer sound quality will work because I'm putting more emphasis on the interpretation than the actual sound coming out of my speaker; if I'm listening to music as an aural wallpaper for something else I'm doing, then I'll want something that's not fuzzy or hissy and preferably recorded with modern studio equipment (for some definition of "modern") so the extraneous noise isn't distracting.
  20. It takes me a least a half hour to come anywhere close to the "top" of my playing. Before performances, I'll warm up for a full hour to get myself well coordinated and have my fingers be nice a flexible. There are specific exercises I do that speed things up a little, but overall I think it's just having that extra bit of time to reorient yourself with the instrument. I suspect people who play upwards of six hours a day might not need as much warming up, though...
  21. I don't think the instrument has to be perfectly still, and none of my teachers have ever said this was the case either. In fact, one lesson had me vibrating so that the instrument would shake so that I could find the boundary between acceptable and excessive. That being said, it's completely possible to have a perfectly motionless violin while you vibrate: I just don't think it's necessary.
  22. crazy jane: Does Pirastro have a history of sending out samples to customers who ask? Hm, I can almost buy two Zyex sets for the price of one set of Obligatos! I'll be sure to try these out sometime soon...
  23. I've used the (old formula) Tonicas on my instrument (a high end ~1850 German workshop) ever since I got it 4 years ago. I find that they're great for orchestral and chamber music, but I'm about to play a concerto with an orchestra and want a bit more projection out of my violin. I tried Evahs, and they make my violin sound like a cannon: nice a loud, but noticeably brighter and harsher over all registers. I'm using some Obligatos now, and I like the sound they're drawing out of my violin (warmer and fuller compared to the Tonicas), except the A-string has a super-slow response (I think I may have gotten a bad string). Dominant's were too tinny for me when I tried them many moons ago. Also of note, I use a Piastro Gold Label E, no matter what set I've got on. Does anyone have any suggestions for my next set to try? Since I'm a student, I'd like to not have to replace my strings every 4 weeks, especially if they're more expensive ones like Evahs. I've heard some good things about Zyex: can someone comment on them?
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