This is the centre of my passion; this is where my cellos are built and where my acoustical work takes place.
I’ll say it at the outset: I don’t work here alone. I have a small circle of experienced co-workers and colleagues who support me in making my instruments with a lot of dedication. I would love to take this opportunity to thank them wholeheartedly! Without them, I wouldn’t be able to dedicate so much time to acoustics.
I am completely convinced that working in a team allows us to improve many steps of the making process and to make them more precise, which wouldn’t be possible if the instruments were built from A to Z single-handedly – which was rare back in the day and in my opinion doesn’t really exist in any workshop nowadays.
I also use a couple of machines, which facilitate my work and support me with great precision. To me, openness and honesty are the basics of dealing with customers.
The goal of my work is clearly defined: I strive for good and well-balanced sound!
During the making process, every important part of a cello in my workshop is constantly measured and checked for its acoustic qualities. I use different measurement methods that help me reach a vibration behaviour that is as optimal as possible for each workpiece. An extremely helpful measurement instrument is the so-called modal analysis, which was developed and perfected between the 1970s and the 1990s by Carleen M. Hutchins, an American scientist who dedicated all of her professional life to studying the acoustics of string instruments.
Every piece of wood is different and therefore has a right to an individual handling in order to reach a vibration behaviour that is as optimal as possible. This approach is true for all parts that vibrate while the instrument is being played: top and back, sides and neck as well as the fingerboard. Even the endpin, bridge and tailpiece have an enormous influence on the sound and the balance of a string instrument.
In my opinion, the trick is to bring all these parts into harmony. For this, working in small quantities is extremely helpful because it allows me to access a relatively big statistical database and to choose between different workpieces that I can combine individually when figuring out which parts fit together harmonically. I claim that there is no magic formula for the making of string instruments! There is no perfect guideline for the construction; there is no perfect string, no perfect endpin and no perfect bridge! Each instrument in its individuality requires individual handling and matching of all components and parts. I try to meet this enormous challenge even though I will never be able to do so in all fields. The connections are simply too complex and diverse.
However, with the available resources and possibilities I am able to meet these challenges to a remarkable extent.
Apart from acoustics, stylistics and the quality of craftsmanship also play an important role for violin making. Naturally, I want to live up to these aspects to the best of my abilities as they are the classical pillars of a craft.
In my opinion, particularly during the last 20 years, the level of craftsmanship in violin making has increased enormously all over the world. The huge competition and pressure that come with that have caused drastic changes on the market. Traditional values such as origin and appearance of course still play an important role when choosing a string instrument but musicians have become more critical, which has led to instruments that simply sound good to be preferred… no matter where they come from.
I welcome this trend because what use is the “best” Italian violin if it simply doesn’t sound good!