Sound is the basis of all music, and the source of my deep fascination and inspiration. I discover more about it, and its unique expression, with every instrument I restore.

The importance of sound

Sound is, quite simply, where it all comes together; it is the reason musicians, luthiers and restorers work hand in hand: to create genuine works of art that may be used daily to make music.

Instruments from the 17th or 18th centuries were created for another age, and for widely differing conditions: designed for smaller spaces and diverse repertoires, performed on strings that may no longer be be used today.

And it is due to those instruments’ well thought-out and sophisticated design that they perform so well in the contemporary setting.

The task of a restorer, therefore, is not simply to achieve the most sympathetic restoration aesthetically – using original materials – but also to understand how the design of those antique instruments may be adapted to meet today’s challenges, ensuring they perform at their very best.

Every musician has their own personality – and so does every instrument. So, that instrument should not only sound its very best; it must also reflect the preferences, capabilities and playing styles of the musicians.

From chamber and orchestra musicians, to soloists, out-and-out beginners and enthusiastic amateurs, each will have different needs. Consequently, a violin or cello that may be ‘the perfect fit’ for one musician may be completely wrong for another.

The final stage of the process therefore is sound adjustment – optimising the relationship between instrument and musician….