February 8, 2015

Yes, The Bows Can Be Saved

Have I really not written an entry in almost an entire year?    From the dates I see, yes, that is the case.   What can I say - there's been a lot going on both internally and externally, including the year of both adventures and misadventures with one of my bows, a wonderful bow made by Adolf Schuster.    

I bought this bow in 1998 - it was at the time thought to be a French copy of the work of English bowmaker James Tubbs.   Flash to 2014, and I had the great fortune of finding out that it is actually a Schuster.    My intention was to sell this bow; however, after getting many things done (including replacement of the silver winding with a lighter winding), the weight of the bow dropped considerably (three grams?!), and after spending the summer playing with this bow at the Vermont Music and Arts Center I decided that I would keep it.

My time in Vermont was fruitful in many ways, and how perfect in some ways, to have the opportunity to become reacquainted with a bow while also having serious nuts-and-bolts bow arm coachings from a colleague and friend.   I have said it before, and I'll say it again - Evelyn Estava is the bowmaster, and I remain grateful to this moment for the time that I spent both with her and Madeline Adkins.

All going smoothly, as I was practicing and preparing for a performance of Winter from Vivaldi's Four Seasons with the Colour of Music Virtuosi - until this happened in September.    

Yes, it snapped.    Unexpectedly.   The stick was not dropped - in fact, it had been gently placed on my bed for ten minutes.    Nothing else to say.    Needless to say, while grateful to have two others in my possession, this was incredibly disturbing.    Fortunately, I received a lot of very good advice (after wrapping the bow in bubble wrap and placing it on a shelf), and later took it to Perrin and Associates Fine Violins, where the wonderful Carolyn Foulkes took the time to explain many things to me, including how she would repair it.

I am pleased to say that I got it back in early January, and the bow still plays like a dream.    Here is a photo of the repaired stick.   Deepest thanks to you, Carolyn, for your patience, for sharing, and for helping a guy get his voice back!

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