Wednesday, January 25, 2012

one of my violins given a run

In a previous post, I highlighted Gaby Lester's lovely violin, with some links to her work and life. We were fortunate to have her in the workshop to-day after she and her husband had a couple of demanding weeks at Australian Summer Music Camp, interstate. They go back to Italy next week.

This tiny clip is a very casual and informal 'noodle' (but easily recognizable) as she picked up one of two of my fiddles to play. The studio isn't the best acoustic space and she didn't prepare or even see the instrument at all before this, so please watch it in that sort of spirit. Summer day, casual visit, give the thing the 'rounds of the kitchen'...She just picked it up and gave it a whirl.

This was an instrument that I made for a robust player- it can take hard driving- while the other, more highly arched violin she played was made to be sweeter in a 'Venetian' way. Gaby likes 'dark' sounding instruments and managed to make both sound more than adequate on the 'darkness' front.

I guess my frustrations about making violins in such a tight market must have penetrated our conversations, I have been wondering how long I can keep up the energy for this work but I was heartened to receive this message to-night;

Dear Robert,
It was lovely to see you and Julia today in your lovely house.
I wanted to tell you I thought your violins were very beautiful instruments.
I'm touched by your craftsmanship. Don't give up!
I will tell everyone I can here about your   violins.
All best wishes to you


I hope she won't mind my mentioning this.


  1. What a beautiful violin! The color is superb and the sound divine.

    Gaby's 'noodling' is inspiring and humbling for this beginner.

  2. Thanks for that. She somehow manages to do all that without moving her fingers....

  3. The sound is very nice, despite the recording. Is this a new violin never played?. Of course don't give up building violins !!
    Cheers Jaume

  4. thanks Jaume, I listen to it with earphones and am amazed how well my 'phone has captured it. It has been used for a few concerts by a young player who borrowed it for some months. He is excellent, but broke!

  5. Congratulations. Must be be satisfying to get that kind of customer feedback.

  6. Cheers, PB. I've enjoyed some wonderful feedback over the years, but when it comes from someone so polished and so well respected, and who has such a beautiful instrument to play, it is quite warming.

    I only included reference to it on this blog because it occurred to me that violin making is actually the least represented of my interests in my posts, I suppose because I've wanted to avoid this blog becoming seen as just a commercial 'pushing' of my business.

  7. Testing...testing...(written by Nina under urbanmonks log in to see if this one goes through)

    I just wanted to say that I think it's awesome that someone so skilled had the opportunity to give you some heart warming is very deserved!!

    You are the maker of such wonderful and beautiful things Dad, and the world is all the more richer for it, both now and for a long time to is a blessing to be a witness to your growth as an artist and creator and put simply - I love you!!