I can read some music, but I have absolutely NO idea how to play a violin. Yet this instrument is a longtime friend. Through two decades, it has journeyed with me from one house (or studio) to the next. The violin was purchased years ago at a not so snazzy music center where my daughter had been taking guitar lessons. The centre was really a retail store with a few small practice rooms tucked in the back. There was no waiting room, so parents were left to pause for 30 minutes in the clutter of the “show room” amidst a soundtrack of competing scales straining out from the students. One afternoon, from the plastic and packaging and jumble of the shop’s two or three aisles, this treasure leaped at me… an emblem of quiet, of analog. The manager offered me a deep discount, disclosing that its body had a defect and was no longer playable. Worked out perfect, as I had little intention of making music with it.
"What I wanted from this fiddle with the hollow wooden body was just its elegant whiff and gesture..."
I make my music, with a camera. The sound is different from strings being plucked, or stroked with a bow. But, it’s how I go out and try to make my joyful noise. What I wanted from this fiddle with the hollow wooden body was just its elegant whiff and gesture… a reminder of the note in us all. Endlessly, it has delivered, continuing to avoid the edits I make to my tapering stash of allies. Still here, beside me it shines, repurposed, as I write and make my pictures… in yet another zip code.
This essay is currently featured in the Fall 2020 issue of Still Point Arts Quarterly. The theme of this issue is "The Secret Life of Objects". You can (freely) enjoy the full issue through this link.