Ethan Ford Heath

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About Ethan Ford Heath

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  1. Ethan Ford Heath

    Wood porn

    If you wanted to copy a viola that has quite possibly never been copied before, how about the ex-Michael Tree c. 1750 Domenicus Busan? Yes, it is 17", but there are still violists out there happy to play such things. The sound he got from it was one of my inspirations for becoming a professional violist. Or the Busan played by Bruno Giuranna; I don't know anything about that one, but would not be surprised if no one has ever copied it.
  2. Ethan Ford Heath

    Andreas Preuss Super-Light-Violin Project

    I don't know anyone who has tried one of these, but I hope to get up there at some point to try one myself. By the way, the necks are removable, which could be a real boon for touring or even occasionally traveling musicians, if the case could be made small enough to evade the attentions of the gate agents and flight attendants. <https://josephcurtinstudios.com/instruments/ultralight/>
  3. Ethan Ford Heath

    Christian Bayon's Bass Bar In the Feb. 18 Strad

    I must admit, as a complete amateur and ignoramus, I have sometimes wondered whether it would work to make a bass bar as a proper beam, with a thin shear web connecting the top to a beam the same or similar profile of a normal bass bar, but perhaps 1.0cm wide, 0.3cm thick. The idea being stiffness with lightness. If he puts the wide end of the bar up, away from the top, that would have a roughly similar effect, I guess. I always assumed that since no one was doing it it must be just my own stupid idea that would not work.
  4. Ethan Ford Heath

    Berlioz, Paganini and the biggest viola you’ll ever see!!

    I would love to have a set of those drawings! That would be fun to try to make.
  5. Ethan Ford Heath

    Bonmusica Shoulder Rest?

    Most people who care in my orchestra are using Mach One or the Pirastro Korfkerest. One of my section mates showed up to work this week with the new viola model of the Pirastro. I have used Mach One and more recently the Mach One "hook" models, but will probably give the Pirastro a try, if my colleague thinks it is an improvement. Second the notion of getting a tall chinrest if you have a really long neck, and keeping to relatively small shoulder rest heights. I have a couple of chinrests that a local luthier added wood to (on the instrument contact point) to make them taller. I think they helped me get through a period of strain in my neck and upper back. I still have one on my violin (which I rarely play), but for orchestra and the viola have gone back to a standard chinrest which is merely one of the taller ones.
  6. Ethan Ford Heath

    Modern Violas Based on The Stradivari CV form

    Since non-CV form violas are coming up, Sean Bishop spoke very highly of two violas he was selling by Alessandro Tossani, of Cremona, who seems to be a bit less well known. Tossani started making violas based on the Mahler, at 413mm with poplar backs, but has migrated to 420mm and maple backs. I gather that he doesn't make many, and one supposes is busy with the "CremonaTools" business. As far as I know, that is the only model and size of viola he makes, and he feels satisfied with it. Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to try one.
  7. Ethan Ford Heath

    Modern Violas Based on The Stradivari CV form

    Torry Borman says on his website that his personal viola model is based on GDG.
  8. Ethan Ford Heath

    Gasparo 'da Salò' violas

    Regarding Amihai Grosz's viola, I had a chat with him when he was in town to play a recital and with his orchestra. And yes, his viola sounds pretty great in person! If anyone is looking for a new instrument modeled after his, they can be ordered from Alexandre Breton and Adam Korman, both of whom are quite familiar with the viola. I think M. Breton said a new order would take two years and cost 20K Euro. One of these is currently being played in the Berlin Phil.
  9. Ethan Ford Heath

    Gasparo 'da Salò' violas

    Many years ago I had the chance to spend an hour playing this viola, and under the ear it is truly magnificent, but a real handful, with what felt like a very long string length, and a big reach to get into higher positions, although I had been playing a deep-ribbed, high-arched 17 inch (430mm) instrument from the age of 13. Its gorgeous, deep, rich sound however convinced me to go to a larger da Salo model viola, a Helmuth Keller of 440mm, (which was also a really great-sounding instrument). I contacted Mr. Dunham a while back about getting a copy of his viola made, and he said that there is already a maker he trusts to make copies: Filippo Fasser. Mr. Fasser has made about 5 of them, including one for the principal viola of the RAI Orchestra. In addition, he has developed a 424mm version of the "Dunham" da Salo, which looks much more integrated and elegant than most of the original cut-down instruments. (IMHO). I would really like to try that one someday.
  10. Ethan Ford Heath

    Recommendations for replacement frog

    I asked a well-respected maker about a replacement frog for my ivory-frog Hill, and he said he would do it, but spent the rest of his message talking about his own bows, giving the me the commission information including price. He never mentioned how much the replacement frog would cost. Can anyone offer a ball-park estimate of how much a replacement (viola) bow frog should cost, from someone really good?