VSA convention violins
Following up on my previous Contemporary Makers thread: LINK
I went to try the New Instruments Exhibit violins at the VSA convention this weekend, with two other player friends for company.
One violin stood out to us, Feng Jiang's. This violin was the personal instrument of someone at the convention (I won't name who, since I don't know if it's public). At $30k, and not for sale, I thought it was among the best contemporary violins I've tried. It had presence, a soloistic edge of brilliance, nice bloom to the sound (especially at a distance), and a good range of colors. (On the "how much Lydia likes it" scale of recent try-outs, it would be about equal to the Ruth at the Reed-Yeboah NYC exhibit, but not as much as the Gusset.)
I also liked Isabelle Wilbaux's violin there, although not as much as the violin of hers that was at the NYC exhibit. But she had a really lovely viola there, with a smoothly buttery sound that's unusual in violas, at least in my experience.
I didn't love anything else in the room. There were two Ray Melanson violins that other players there liked, though.
Anyone else there with comments? :-)
Wow, you're really getting around, Lydia!
Thanks for those detailed notes, Lydia. Good to have them archived here in case I suddenly find myself with $30k in my wallet! :)
I loved Isabelle Wilbaux's violin at VSA. I just did not want to put it down. It was beautifully constructed, tastefully varnished, and a joy to play and hear. I also particularly enjoyed playing David Swanson's violin.
I happen to live a short drive from the VSA convention, and had Friday off work, so this was an easy visit. NYC turned out to be serendipitous; I had a client meeting in NYC the day before and so staying an extra day for the exhibition worked out nicely. :-)
He antiques because he's sloppy?
George, I have similar misgivings. Most of the genuine antique instruments which are used as inspiration for "antiquing" are going ever more downhill with use and repair, so where will we end up?
Funny what that maker said, "his style" leaves a lot of tool marks, in other words he hides a somewhat rough workmanship with antiquing.
I like antiquing that gives a certain patina to the wood -- that brings out richness and variation. I'm not keen on antiquing that simulates varnish wear.
I wonder how contemporary antiqued violins will look like after s few hundred years (if we're still around).
There are plenty of antiqued 100 plus year old violins out there with additional 100+ years of real wear if you want to see what it looks like, it can actually make the antiquing look more authentic IMHO
I unfortunately didn't find those other violins mentioned above to be very interesting, but probably largely due to the acoustics and background playing in the room when I was there. Someone was playing on one that sounded amazing when I walked in, but I didn't get to see or ask which one it was with the other things going on. I wish now I could go back and try again!
Environments like these can be very challenging.
I was fortunate that when I first entered the room, and through some intervals of time, no one else was playing, though it got loud later.
Here's another event, planned for October 2018.