The Forest of Stradivarius’ Violin
Have you ever wondered where the musical instruments we love so much are made?
It is not easy to make a viola, violin, cello, or contrabass. The Italian luthiers from Cremona, who have passed on the secrets of perfect sound for generations, are well aware of this.
Andrea Amati opened the first shop dedicated to the construction of stringed instruments in 1539. His knowledge continues to be passed down to this day. Artisans such as the Guarneri and Stradivari families have mastered this art and refined it.
The maniacal search for the perfect sound has ancient roots. Our innate instinct has always been toward harmony. Birdsong prompted the first humans to try to mimic those heavenly sounds, first with their voices and later with instruments.
It takes more than 70 pieces of wood modeled one by one by hand to build a violin. Each has its own characteristics.
Stradivari discovered that the spruce from the Paneveggio forest in Italy had incredible resonance properties. He was often spotted wandering in the woods in search of the best tree. The wood then had to rest and dry for 10/15 years before it could be used. This is why two identical violins cannot exist.
If you are asking yourself how much a Stradivarius violin can cost be aware that one has been sold for $16.000.000 and there are only 650 left in the world.
The process is so meticulous that the trees must be felled when the moon is waning so that there is less sap in the veins. What is called the Violins’ Forest was partially destroyed by a windstorm around 2018. However, the wood was not wasted and fortunately, the trees are now growing back.
It is as if Aeolus had taken his violin and had thrown it to the ground like Paganini.
It is impossible to perfectly replicate something when using wood, which is alive, and when instinct, more than a machine, guides the process. Many factors come into play, the climate, the passion, the knowledge. Maybe even this storm will leave its mark on the wood and a series of fantastic violins will come to life … who knows. The process is very long but the result is worth it.
When the bow caresses the string for the first time and the soundboard begins to amplify the sound, the magic is triggered. That sound will be as unique as the cry of a newborn baby. At the moment in which a pure and melodious sound reaches our ears, it is as if the ancestral memory of the primordial scream comes to mind.
Only by listening and vibrating at the frequencies of the universal A, we do remember who we really are. The essence of life is hidden in that secret and it is for this reason that man is constantly searching for the infinite through his creativity.
In order to get closer to the absolute the pharaohs built the pyramids, but this absolute is already within us. Our heart beats, our voice sings and our hands create. You don’t need anything else. Just shake off your fears and follow your instincts.
The Forest of Stradivarius’ Violin
This is why the luthier as the musician, live music with the same passion. These two professions are merged together and when a great artist meets his instrument we are facing a new big bang.
Today it is possible to see these masters at work and there are dedicated tours in the city of Cremona. If you want to step back in time and breathe the smell of wood that becomes a symphony of notes we recommend this tour: Cremona: The Violin Tour.
Who writes this article is an artist like many of you. I play rock but I have always had a great passion for classical music. This is why when I recorded my new album entitled 555 with my band Edgar Allan Poets I decided to collaborate with a string quartet for the musical arrangements.
The violinist confessed to me that his violin was made in Cremona and told me about the Violins’ Forest. I was bewitched by this story and decided to write this article.
May beautiful music always be with you!
If you are a lover of classical music you might like this video. Igor and Vera Stravinsky are buried in the City of Venice Italy and this is what happened the first time they met. Vague Illusion by Edgar Allan Poets.
This content is offered to you by Edgar Allan Poets the Noir Rock Band Inspired by Poe & Hitchcock