The inside of my violin. The old sound-post patch and two great big diamond shaped cleats are stable enough to leave, but the other repairs are Charles’ beautiful handiwork. If you want to see more pictures of my violin going through the repair/restoration process, click here.
Wilder & Davis – Luthiers.
My violin needed a substantial amount of work recently, including re-repairing an old bass bar crack that had opened up, a new button and neck, new bass bar, and a lot of other issues that were becoming unmanageable and needed to be properly repaired. I’ve dealt with Wilder & Davis in Montreal for years (they also have a shop in Banff), and as much as sending your violin away to anybody for repairs is a terrifying experience, I knew that they would do good work. Charles Arsenault did the work on my violin, and the results were really terrific – it came back in much better condition. Although the sound took a few months to get back to normal, my violin is operating as well or better than ever. If you need a full service violin dealership, check out Wilder & Davis here. And if you want to check out some of Charles work, check out the incredible repair he did to this Gagliano here. Be warned though, looking at this instrument in pieces is not for the faint of heart… I have played this instrument after the repair – sounded fantastic!!! Wilder & Davis also have one of my favourite bow makers on staff – André Lavoye. I own one of his bows, and I also had him make a new frog and screw for my beautiful F.X. Tourte to replace the original ivory (which doesn’t travel well). You can see it under the my instruments tab.
Garth Lee – Luthier.
Garth makes fantastic violins, violas, and cellos. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if his closest relatives were trees. His innate understanding of wood and woodworking is almost spooky, and his workmanship is as fine as there is in this world. I’ve played on many of his instruments, but was lucky enough to borrow one for an extended period of time when my violin was in the shop for extensive repairs. If you’re looking for really fine new instruments that have a lot to offer and will develop over time, check out his website here. It’s a simple website that doesn’t have a lot of pictures, but worth looking at.
Judy Bandsmer – Photographer.
I also get asked a lot about the photography on this website. Judy Bandsmer lives in Victoria, BC, and she is a real artist with a camera. Full disclosure here – Judy is my cousin, but that does not make this a cheap advertisement for a family member. As you can see from the picture, she is very creative, and her work has been featured in several magazines, and won national awards. Check out her website at www.paintbrushphotography.com for some beautiful examples of her portraiture and art.
Joe Dudych – Recording Engineer.
If you listen to my Ysaye CD, I hope you hear a great sound and some good violin playing. What you won’t hear are all the technical details that are part of recording, including mixing, microphone placement, and yes – a few miraculous edits. Making a great recording involves two distinct parts: great playing, and great recording. Joe has lived up to his end of things for me, and many others. Check out Joe Dudych Recording Services website at www.joedudych.com.