The first groups of musicians arrived at IMS Prussia Cove four days ago, and the seminar is now truly underway as the house is filled with the sounds of busy rehearsals and after-dinner sight-reading sessions. Peter and Mark joined us yesterday, and have been setting up their workshop area – much to the delight and interest of our musicians.
The workshop site has been chosen with care, ensuring the space has enough light for the makers to work. This temporary studio is in fact in a downstairs kitchen with fabulous views of the Atlantic Ocean: an unusual and inspiring setting.
Our, now resident, violin-makers have been talking through the steps of the process, and already the collaborative nature of the project has been really interesting as Peter and Mark discuss their differing approaches to the technique of violin making.
Today’s Technical Tips
– The wood for the back, scroll and ribs of the violin all come from the same maple tree. The use of maple wood is a long tradition in lutherie, favoured above fruit tree wood which in theory could provide a suitable alternative.
– The top of the violin is made of spruce, a vital part of every string instrument including guitars and harps. A piano’s soundboard is also made almost exclusively from spruce.
– The wood for this violin was bought by Peter in Mittenwald, Germany, around 20 years ago. The choice of wood is a fascinating process, and Peter is unusual in not considering the wood to be of much significance to the sound of the instrument. Instead, he pays close attention to the structure of the wood and how the tree is cut, as well as the visual beauty of the wood chosen.