"It once occurred to me in my impudent childhood, that
Stradivarius wasn’t a fairy-tale monster, wasn’t a
“not-of-this-world-being"; he had ten fingers and a head and worked
with them: shaped wood with his fingers, thought with his head…
Proceeding from this, I decided to follow his example.
Despite of hundreds violins made, I consider my main achievement
to be not the violins per se, but my technique of creation of
acoustically perfect material.
The technique gives the master-artist the basis for free creativity
when making instruments, and under the musician’s bow the violin will
sound with the deepest nuances of music enclosed therein.
Violin, viola, cello... they are just forms with which wood is indued.
To understand how the magic called "violins of the Great Italians"
appeared, it is necessary to refuse from the idea of a "sounding box".
All those games with geometry, with the increase in size and volume...
they are deeply uninteresting.
There is nothing complicated in the design of a violin. Wooden
elements are stuck together in a certain order. Neither geometry nor
visual beauty really matter.
The "Old Italians" (the way the works of Italian masters of XVI -
XVIII centuries are called) may look monstrous, asymmetric, but they
have a marvelous live voice!
It’s not too difficult to copy an ancient Italian instrument. The most
precise tools may be used: microscopes, computers, ultrasonic imaging
systems... It is possible to carry accuracy to the point of absurdity,
to copy all the minor attritions of the lacquer and all the accidental
scratches… However, millions of copies of ancient violins made in the
course of the last 200 years have not come any close to the originals
in the richness of voice, in the very breath of them.
What makes the instrument sing in a live voice? It’s the
microstructure of specially processed wood. In fact, wood is a set of
cavities, a set of capillary tubes.
The basis of the speech of a musical instrument is the resonance. The
body resounds, that’s it.
But there are also resounding cavities in the depth of the material,
the capillary tubes. Applying special techniques, the Old Italian
masters created a unique material, wood with perfect resonant
Emptying/cleaning the capillary tubes and strengthening their walls
with a special natural polymer, I create ideal resonators. Being
multiple and possessing different linear sizes, they respond to
different sound frequencies. Due to it, the whole gamut of the
instrument’s voice is sated with overtones as much as it’s at all
Besides, in the course of basecoating setulae (similar to epithelium
chaetae) are formed on the internal surfaces of microresonators.
Vibrating, they create individual sound overtones."
Aleksandr Rabinovich, Violinmaker