big news this week, people.
as karl has been saying, "we've added a new member to our family this week!" no, it's not a baby or the start of a baby, or anything human. it's a new viola! as the biggest purchase we have ever made (yes, even bigger than buying our car last year), this me a new viola will probably be the biggest expense until we buy a house.
i had been playing the same viola since high school and that got me through 6 years of school and graduate school as a performance major. i love the sound of my old viola, but knew that it was definitely time for an upgrade.
there's a fantastic maker (luthier to be specific. just means a violin maker. and a violin maker usually can and does make all stringed instruments within the violin family) who lives within walking distance from our home in hartford. he's super well known and has made/sold his instruments to some of the "greats" yuri bashmet, gidon kremer, rostropovich.
the viola i decided on (after taking it home for a while and playing it) is a beautiful gaspar model, 16 1/2 inches, petite shoulders and small neck. it. is. a. beauty. the top is made from 150 year old scandinavian spruce and features a one piece back. (don't worry, there's a picture later)
i also had the unique opportunity of signing the label with the maker! for those of you who might not be familiar, the label goes inside the f-hole and usually only has the name of the maker; sometimes also including the date it was made and also the city or country. it was such a unique opportunity and super cool!
here i am in his shop, signing the label with him!
cutting the label out.
the label. pre-installation.
here he's putting the label in through the f-hole.
this is the view of the label through the f-hole of the viola.
here are my three violas. on the left-my oldest viola- dearly beloved and most played. (for sale)
middle- new gaspar-model viola!!!!!
right- 15 3/4inch polish viola. excellent instrument and also for sale.
my new instrument is wonderful-it has that spinning, round sound and is super easy to play. no squeaks or unequal fifths. yeah, i'd say it was a match made in heaven. or hartford.