Violins

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Violins

Postby MikiSJ » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:31 pm

I saw the posts that Nicky and Morgan posted about their love of the fiddle.

Before I lost much of the upper frequencies in my hearing I would listen to the major violin concertos for hours on end.

In the early 1980s Itzhak Perlman came to the Davies Hall, home of the San Francisco Symphony and played the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D. Since it was close to my birthday, my Wife popped for Orchestra Seating, (10 rows back and right in the middle). To top off the performance, and unknown to me, she bought an after performance meeting with Perlman. What a night.
_______________________________________________________________________
I got turned on to the violin by my Father. At the start of WWII, the West Coast braced for an invasion by the Japanese Army. My Father, already a Staff Sergeant in the Army on December 7, 1941 and stationed at Camp Roberts (halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles), was assigned to the Los Gatos Greyhound Bus Station (adjacent to San Jose) with a platoon of soldiers. At the time, Yehudi Menuhin lived in the nearby foothills and would nightly come down to Los Gatos and play for the troops and any of the town's residents who would show up. My Father had a pressed record of one of his nightly performances and wow, was Menuhin GOOD. Unfortunately, that bit of history is lost.
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Re: Violins

Postby MorganWoolf » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:39 pm

Music is so powerful. As are the memories they make. I'll never forget that violinist I saw. I wish I knew his name. I'd recognize his face in a heartbeat.
I know it has nothing to do with music, but your story made me think about my grandpa. He fought in WWII as well. He was part of the fire raids over Tokyo. I never got to speak to him and apparently he didn't say much about the war to my dad. I wish I could have talked to him. WWII is such a monumental part of this world's history.

Violin is my new passion. Even if I never preform in front of an audience, I'm happy to learn it, to know it, to love it.

I remember reading The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice. I remember Nicolas, Lestat's violinist friend with the dark soul that matched Lestat's light. There's a lot of me I don't put on these posts, but I definitely see myself in Nicolas. That male violinist has always been in me, and now he finally gets to come out.
When I finally came to love "Morgan" that was the first thing that "Morgan" cried out for. He needed his violin.
Now I am "Morgan" and I have taken my first step to feeling that completeness by taking up the violin. Funny isn't it?
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Re: Violins

Postby MikiSJ » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:39 am

MorganWoolf wrote:He was part of the fire raids over Tokyo.

Hmmm, I am going to hijack my own thread.

The fire bombings of Tokyo and Dresden and the surrounding citiesleft much more carnage than the two nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The fire bombing strategy was the brain child of Gen. Curtis LeMay who also championed the use of nuclear weapons in Japan. He was such a right wing conservative he literally stood toe-to-toe with John Kennedy with his zealous support of bombing Cuba.

The firebombing was done at a low level (7,000 feet) and the plane crews were often revulsed by the smell of burning flesh.

I wish it were a requirement for our national elected officials to have witnessed war before they vote to send our fortune and best men and women out to be killed in the spirit global politic.
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Re: Violins

Postby Natasha_Lynn » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:08 pm

Anywho...

I played the violin for a really long time, having been classically trained from a young age. The story goes that I saw Itzhak Perlman on Sesame Street and that I was adamant from then on that I wanted to play. Really enjoyed it for a while, but once I stated getting good it went from something I did for fun to something I did so that the parents could use me to impress people. Then the violin sucked pretty bad.

I quit playing the violin after ten years because I just couldn't bear to do it anymore, and that was some time ago. Strings are still my thing though, and I have a few instruments that I hack around on, including a nice electric five-string violin that is great for heavier chunkier stuff, which an acoustic can only do so well. I went from being a classical music nerd to a metalhead, so the change of pace to electric instruments seemed to be the natural thing to do.
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Re: Violins

Postby MorganWoolf » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:43 pm

My mom didn't like that I was borrowing my brother-in-law's violin. So yesterday, after going around trying to find a shop that would fix up her old one (and failing) she just bought me one! (A beginner one, so she didn't spend and arm and a leg or anything, but it is better than the one I'm using currently, so...yay!)

Huzzah! It's mine! All mine!

Now I must transfer the soul of my other violin and bow (Diastima is my Violin's soul, Chronos is my Bow's) into the body of my new violin and bow. This will be much fun!

I love Diastima and Chronos. I love them so :)
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Re: Violins

Postby Danette Celeste » Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:40 pm

When I was stationed in Illinois, I went to a lot of estate auctions. At one I found an old violin in a wooden violin box with two cherry wood bows, both without hair. The joints between the top, bottom and sides were beginning to open, and the prufling was starting fall out. I bought all of it for $50, which was probably too much, but the age and rustic character of the instrument really appealed to me.

I found a Luthier in St Louis who specialized in rebuilding and repairing stringed instruments. I handed it over to him and a month later picked up a completely rebuilt violin, new case and new bow for $200. He also dated the instrument. It was manufactured in Czechoslovakia as a Strad knock off in about 1917/1918 time frame. These were factory made rather than hand made. But, they were inexpensive and were favored by people in central Europe, especially Germans, many of whom immigrated to the US before and after WW I. That was the case with mine. The ethnic predominance around Scott AFB was very much German Catholic in origin, and the estate belonged to an elderly German couple who had immigrated as young children. It plays ok - better than I can play it, but I feel like I have a relic of a significant time in world history.

Several years later I had one of the Cherry wood bows rehaired and find it much easier to use than the new plastic bow I bought when I had it rebuilt. I love the feel and sound of the thing and though I seldom play it, when I do, it seems like voices from the past are speaking through the strings.

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Re: Violins

Postby MorganWoolf » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:27 pm

My mom's isn't quite as cool.
It was hand made in Mexico City. She bought it for $20 at a market about 40 years ago. The scroll has cracks though it like it was smashed, but she doesn't remember it being broken ever.
I wanted to get it fixed, but the scroll is so messed up, I've been told its hopeless. I was told it was best just to get a new one. They probably don't even want to bother with it. Also, it's missing the wooden peg/strip on the inside. The beveling wasn't inlaid, it was hand-drawn in.

Ah well, I will have it on display, and perhaps one day I will get it fixed. And perhaps one day I'll even try to play it. It isn't even made of the traditional wood. Makes me wonder what it would sound like.

When I was a kid I found it in my mother's room. She let me mess with it. Poor thing was already old. I tried though, but the strings on the bow were frayed. I tried tightening the strings on the violin, and I drew the bow across, but all it did was whine...so pitifully too.
I kept finding the poor thing throughout my years growing up. I'd just hold it, poke at it, love it best I could.
Poor thing was never played so far as I know.

But I'm never giving it away.
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Re: Violins

Postby Natasha_Lynn » Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:35 am

Danette Celeste wrote:I found a Luthier in St Louis who specialized in rebuilding and repairing stringed instruments. I handed it over to him and a month later picked up a completely rebuilt violin, new case and new bow for $200. He also dated the instrument. It was manufactured in Czechoslovakia as a Strad knock off in about 1917/1918 time frame. These were factory made rather than hand made. But, they were inexpensive and were favored by people in central Europe, especially Germans, many of whom immigrated to the US before and after WW I. That was the case with mine. The ethnic predominance around Scott AFB was very much German Catholic in origin, and the estate belonged to an elderly German couple who had immigrated as young children. It plays ok - better than I can play it, but I feel like I have a relic of a significant time in world history.

Several years later I had one of the Cherry wood bows rehaired and find it much easier to use than the new plastic bow I bought when I had it rebuilt. I love the feel and sound of the thing and though I seldom play it, when I do, it seems like voices from the past are speaking through the strings.


I think there is a pretty decent chance I have been to that same luthier. Did you go to St. Louis Strings? I got my acoustic from there a long time ago.

Violins can have so much history behind them. The story behind yours is pretty intense! Mine comes from the early 1950's and was made the the luthier Anthony Wrona, who I only just recently learned was a paraplegic who worked through some pretty intense pain to produce his instruments. Kind of lends a spirit to the instrument itself, which is a really beautiful one made from birds eye maple. It is a real privilege to be able to play it, even if classical isn't so much my thing anymore.
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Re: Violins

Postby Danette Celeste » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:30 am

I don't recall the name or exactly where it was located. It's been more than 20 years. I do recal it was in a strip mall type building, was small and so crowded with instruments it was difficult to move through the place for fear of starting a domino type disaster.

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Re: Violins

Postby MorganWoolf » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:32 am

was small and so crowded with instruments it was difficult to move through the place for fear of starting a domino type disaster.


Isn't that all specialty music shops? I love them so much! I want to find this place. Someday I must travel south! I want one day to have a fiddle with a rattle snake rattle in it. For extra fun drinking songs at my friends houses. ;)
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Re: Violins

Postby MikiSJ » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:10 pm

Danette Celeste wrote:He also dated the instrument. It was manufactured in Czechoslovakia as a Strad knock off in about 1917/1918 time frame.

My instrument of choice these days is an acoustic guitar. I bought a beautiful instrument in 1974 paying around $150 which was a lot for an acoustic guitar back then. It was made in Japan by a small instrument company, Kizo Suzuki (not the violin maker). I played it for awhile and then started to date my then to be wife and put the guitar away in a case and didn't play it again until four years ago. I had forgotten to loosen the strings and after all that time in the case, it was still nearly in tune.

I took the guitar to a local guitar maker to refresh the instrument and when he took it out of the case he thought it was a C.F. Martin D-35. When he looked closer he told me it was a Martin D-35 knockoff that was built so nicely Martin sued Suzuki for trademark infringement, and won. The D-35, and the Suzuki, have a distinctive three piece back. The Martin D-35 had a list price of around $400 in 1974.

I have had the opportunity to play a new Martin D-35 and it is worth every penny of the $3,500 (MSRP) they get. My little knockoff is worth every penny of the $150 I paid for it, and side by side, you can tell the difference. Played by itself, my Suzuki is a damn fine instrument. It is amazing what 40 years in a good case will do to a fine instrument - a sweet sound.
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Re: Violins

Postby MorganWoolf » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:23 pm

So, I brought my violin and my friend's violin to the totality, because I'm weird like that. This guy came up and said he expects me to be a master violinist by next eclipse which is on 2024. So, I accept the challenge! He asked why I brought them. I said I wanted my instrument to see it and I brought my friends (she drove us out there BTW) because it seemed unfair not to. He said, "I get that. You're both here and you're very good friends. So, your violins are friends too. They needed to see the eclipse together as well!" I love it when strangers get me :) Hers is a German copy of a Voullaime a Paris. It sounds sooooooo much nicer than mine! Not jealous though, one day I will have my awesome, storied violin.... Also, hers has a rattlesnake rattle (so technically it's a fiddle) and smells just like fresh frankincense. I spent a good 15 minutes giving that thing some long hard snorts cuz it smelled so frigging awesome. :P
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Re: Violins

Postby MikiSJ » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:44 pm

:D :D :D :D
___________________________________________________________
Ok, I give up - what is a rattlesnake rattle (other than the obvious, thank you)?

I have heard guitars that rattle when plucked on certain strings, but that involves an adjustment of the neck and bridge height.

What makes a violin a fiddle and of course, what makes a fiddle a violin. I have heard my violin hero, Perlman play bluegrass on his Guarneri (?) with John Denver.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk2eR1epPMs
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Re: Violins

Postby MorganWoolf » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:54 pm

Traditionally, in the south, they would put a rattlesnake rattle in the violin. It'll buzz as you play it and gives the violin a different sound. I've also heard rumor that for a fiddle they give it a bridge of a different height so as your fingers play over the strings they twang. Otherwise, it's the same instrument, the difference is in how you play it.
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Re: Violins

Postby MorganWoolf » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:39 am

Me snorting my friends violin:

Image

No, I didn't care about presenting.
Yes, those are fuzzy purple owl jammies. I have no other jammies. Besides...they feel good...<.< >.> (and they are adorbz.)
I'm confident enough in my own masculinity. I can haz my fuzzy purple owl jammies.

And if you look very closely...there is someone hiding behind the door over my shoulder. Oooohhhh! Spookey! :O
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Re: Violins

Postby MikiSJ » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:05 pm

...and I don't care what you wear, either.

My first thought (before reading) was that you were licking your fiddle, as if the varnish had some South American frog quality that put you to sleep easier.

I don't see anything spooky in the image, so maybe the varnish does have a mysterious qualify to it.
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Re: Violins

Postby MorganWoolf » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:38 pm

*snorts* Oh, it's there, it's just reeeeaaaaally hard to see. I wish you could see it better because it would make it that much scarier.
It's not a ghost.
That's my friends guest room and she has a life sized Mr.Bean cut out that she keeps behind the door, so when her friends come over and close the door they get the shit scared out of them. Cuz she has a messed up sense of humor like me. :)
I was hoping you could see more of it so it would be creepier, but oh well. :P
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Re: Violins

Postby Michi » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:19 am

MikiSJ wrote: . . . Before I lost much of the upper frequencies in my hearing I would listen to the major violin concertos for hours on end . . .


Just curious, did you have lots of ringing in your ears before before you lost some hearing? How you lots of ringing in my ears mostly in the right.
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Re: Violins

Postby MikiSJ » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:58 am

Michi wrote:
MikiSJ wrote: . . . Before I lost much of the upper frequencies in my hearing I would listen to the major violin concertos for hours on end . . .


Just curious, did you have lots of ringing in your ears before before you lost some hearing? How you lots of ringing in my ears mostly in the right.

It was just a slow erosion of the ability to hear higher frequencies. All adults lose the ability to hear frequencies that most teens can hear. My loss went way beyond normal.

I did not have any significant tinnitus, but I have a very noticeable 'ocean in a sea shell' background noise. It is always there - always there!

I was just watching a Saturday morning news program and they had a segment on 'The War on Drugs' band playing their new #1 cut from their new album. At normal talking volume, I could not hear anything but the drums and bass and some of the rhythm guitar. Lyrics, what lyrics :( .
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Re: Violins

Postby Shizuku » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:11 pm

@MorganWoolf: That picture looks like it belongs on an album cover!
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Re: Violins

Postby MikiSJ » Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:04 am

Shizuku wrote:@MorganWoolf: That picture looks like it belongs on an album cover!

I'll second that, at least the top half.
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Re: Violins

Postby CeliaEriksson » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:05 am

I want those cute Jimjams!!!!!
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Re: Violins

Postby MorganWoolf » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:23 pm

I think I got them at target...pester me and I'll look into the brand so you can find them! I don't remember if the owl jammies came with a shirt or just the pants...the top came from a different set.

So, when I become a famous violinist I can use that photo as my album cover. :P
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Re: Violins

Postby CeliaEriksson » Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:38 pm

I would pester, pester, pester Morgan, but I am English. Well, half so and Norwegian. Anyway, so no Target over here, I just think they are so very cute.... I'll have to do with my pink birdy ones or white floral ones that I have.
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Re: Violins

Postby MorganWoolf » Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:59 pm

You might be able to find them online though. The brand is Secret Treasures Sleepwear. Good luck! :)
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Re: Violins

Postby CeliaEriksson » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:51 am

I looked them up and they have the bottoms only, but I rarely buy much online, only really special stuff. We have Asda, a subsidiary of Walmart, maybe they have similar and if I see them, I may be tempted. I'm out shopping today with my Niece, so will be quite tired by the end of it..........
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Re: Violins

Postby Natasha_Lynn » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:13 am

MorganWoolf wrote:I think I got them at target...pester me and I'll look into the brand so you can find them! I don't remember if the owl jammies came with a shirt or just the pants...the top came from a different set.


Target has some darn good pajamas and most of mine come from there. I MUST HAVE THOSE OWL PAJAMAS!!
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