Jahanava Gargallo, a third year student at Newark, was funded by the RAB Trust as a helper/observer during a recent project at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where four violin makers made two baroque cellos in a fortnight.
I arrived on Saturday evening to meet the team of violin makers that would welcome me to be part of this event. It was with a great joy that Kai Thomas Roth, William Castle, Tibor Szemmelveisz and Marc Soubeyran met again this year for an even bigger project: the making of two baroque cellos inspired by the models of Stradivari and Gofriller.
It was a pleasure to see this friendly bunch of wood-eaters being happy to see each other again and make themselves at home, installing all their equipment with great organization, excited to start.
I was also happy to take part in this adventure, providing my services concerning the food and drinks, so the makers could be fully focused on the daily tasks of their schedule, and also observing, taking notes, pictures, and asking plenty of questions.
I was there only the first week of the project, from Sunday 24th to Friday 29th, six days that went very fast, as fast as the rhythm of the workers that managed to stay in tune with their schedule! Even though that included working after dinner!
This experience taught me a lot, workwise but also from a social and professional point of view.
First of all, it was interesting to see the working methods of four violin makers that had been taught in three different schools (Newark in the UK, Mittenwald in Germany and Brienz in Switzerland). Although they all have a personal approach to their making, they interact openly. I liked to see them looking at each other’s work, exchanging ideas and making decisions about how the instruments should be. I have had the opportunity to participate in other violin making team projects before and this is a point that usually shows a lot in the final aspect of the instrument. It was good to see in the making process the seamless transitions between the different methods and personalities, as well as the result on the cellos.
Also, as a violin making student, the speed of the woodworking during this week has unlocked many fears and questions, and given me wings for my coming graduation test!
THANK YOU to the RAB trust for this opportunity and also to those fourviolin makers who took time and welcomed me with open arms.