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matesic's Achievements


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  1. I finally got around to watching the video. Forget the title added by the SCMP - surely it's a promo made in Cremona!
  2. I remember one occasion when a fine young fiddler performed the Barber concerto (or was it Korngold?) with our orchestra using a Klotz. Even before learning that my immediate thought on hearing her was "needs a better violin".
  3. I doubt any luthier ever called it a "nice" bow. I should definitely get one for my "chairlo" (built around a chair leg).
  4. I've never seen classical violin played that way, maybe because the top and bottom strings aren't so equal in status. It makes me wonder (again..) how many lefties are put off the violin through being forced to bow with their right arms. You usually hear the argument that it doesn't matter because both arms are equally important, but I say it's the "executive" arm that naturally calls the shots and it's the bow arm that determines when the music starts. Someone should conduct a survey to find out how many good players (of right-handed instruments, the right-handed way) are naturally left-handed and to what degree. Fewer than in the overall population I'd guess.
  5. I can see why their free-thinking personalities may not be suited to long-term orchestral membership. Even for those who stick it out, isn't there a 10,000 hour rule after which time you've lost any passion for music you may once have had?
  6. Real men don't sing. I'm the only man I know who does, apart from my Japanese friend who introduced me to karaoke. I don't count droning with a guitar.
  7. Great stuff that I'll enjoy reading. Having (as you do) topped and tailed it, my first caveat concerns the repeated references to "fascist Cremona", as if Mussolini's regime ("fascism" = "bad", OK?) had infected the town itself. Maybe that's not the impression the author intends to convey and just reflects my own indoctrination, but also I think revealing his bias is the unqualified assertion (last page) that "Many tests ... have shown that new violins are preferred by both musicians and the public".
  8. A few years ago I bought this one (sight unseen) from an auction house that neglected to mention that in the past it had undergone violent decapitation. At £40 plus commission I didn't feel cheated, but it didn't play well. A year or so later I sold it via a different auction house that also somehow failed to mention the decapitation. Overall I just about broke even.
  9. I've never known anyone who did this, but that's what they said about Dick Fosbury. Looking at my strings I don't see any obvious sign of rosin build-up. And as you know it's at the other end where the most wear occurs, although Dominants don't seem to be as prone to unwinding as they used to be.
  10. I don't think I've ever heard an orchestra play several rungs higher than outstanding. I'm prepared to believe they may have perked up a bit when "sir" appeared. Fear will have that effect
  11. No kidding. The violin cited in the OP makes the analogy perfectly. Labels can distort the public perception
  12. Oh dear, it's the thought police
  13. That's the crucial word. We're all "on" countless spectra, in other words variations of normal which can be unfortunate if you happen to be too far from the mean. Labels are bipolar (no I'm not talking about that, or the other) I mean yes or no, which completely fails to convey the true situation. It's good that Philip is comfortable with the label of Asperger's (serene to the point that he can't even be bothered to spell-check it), as are many people who live happy, productive, normal lives. That's absolutely fine but personally I'd rather not be labelled at all, particularly if I were to achieve between 25 and 30 on the psychopath test. I can conceive of a time when "borderline" individuals who are regarded as normal in the US are refused entry to the UK.
  14. Ah, but what do you mean by "spade"? Not everyone has the same mental dictionary I confess I'm influenced here by Jon Ronson's "The psychopath test". The widely accepted and applied diagnostic criteria were established by a committee (largely influenced by one man) that formulated a check-list of 20 behavioural and psychological traits such as: glibness/superficial charm; grandiose sense of self-worth; cunning/manipulative; parasitic lifestyle etc. Each item is assessed on a 3-point scale and if the overall score is greater than 25 (30 in the US. I wonder why?) the subject is labelled "psychopathic", which of course everyone knows means "murderous". Naturally multiple conditions and caveats apply but you'll see my point. This disorder hasn't been discovered but invented for convenience, as has the label. Even non-psychiatric disorders that can be objectively confirmed are labelled arbitrarily, and the connotations of the label strongly influence public perception of the disorder and those who suffer from it. For example, fibromyalgia and polymyalgia might be considered siblings but are in fact very different in their physiological manifestations. I don't know what I'd suggest to remedy this but abandonment of the pseudo-intellectual use of ancient Greek would be a start, and a clear distinction made between conditions that have a known physiological substrate and those that are hypothesised for medical convenience, useful as the latter often are. I'm making full use of the latitude implied by the title of this thread!
  15. I wouldn't deny it for an instant. I'm simply wondering who contrives these pompous Greek-derived labels that may or may not correspond closely to an actual entity but are often (I believe) calculated to imply greater understanding than we actually have.
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