Today, I had a the pleasure of going to Amsterdam to try out a couple of violins! This is like going to a sweets shop… well, actually, probably going to a hands-on gadget and computer store (with no-one bothering you) would more like that, but this is a really close second! Of these three violins, the one on the left is “mine” (well, it is on loan…) and the other two are ones that I was trying. Just before Christmas, I received an email from a luthier who knew that I was looking for a Baroque Violin to buy (well, it isn’t so urgent… I’ve been looking for over five years now, but I’m just so happy with the loaner!). I immediately arranged for an appointment to see the violin…
After a half hour of trying them, I think I’m pretty interested in the one on the right… not enough to drop everything and buy it, but interested enough to take it on loan in a couple weeks time, when I have a few more performances on Violin and some other people who will be able to listen to it. However, in the intervening week or so, there is at least one other person who will be looking at it… hopefully, they won’t snap it up! The luthier did offer me the right of first choice on it…. but I couldn’t take it in good conscience… if the other person takes it, I will find something else in my own time!
Actually, the trip to the violin luthier was a bit of a side excursion… the real reason that I needed to go to Amsterdam was a bit more mundane. Just before Christmas, one of my violin bows damaged itself. On the end of the bow is a screw mechanism for tightening and loosening the horse hair on the bow, and as this particular bow has the angle of the screw slightly off centre, it means that over time the thread of the screw gets worn away. After, I turn the thing probably about a minimum of ten times every day, on pretty much every day of the year.
Well, the last time this had happened was around seven years ago and I didn’t have the time then to have the guide hole for the bow re-bored and straightened. This time, I also didn’t have time to do it permanently, however if the time for failure is around seven years then it isn’t too bad… However, I will be coming back in a couple of weeks to see the violin again, so I am going to make time to have the bow properly fixed, as the screw tends to destroy itself right as I’m about to step on stage (luckily, I have spares… but it is one of my favourites!). Whilst I’m there, I will have the bow maker look at another bow of mine which I had written off as destroyed several years ago. Hopefully, he is able to repair it and make it sing again!