Mount Fuji, and then some!

The chance of a holiday unconnected to work is a rarity. Somehow, I always gravitate to the music, the instruments and their qualities. Holidays have a tendency to turn into ‘working holidays’ which, don’t get me wrong, I love, but…..

So, for once I was determined to have a complete break, which hasn’t happened for many years. A friend mentioned she was heading to Japan for her 6th visit and I was immediately hooked. I didn’t know of her interest, the fact she speaks Japanese, gives cultural talks, drinks Uji Matcha!! Who knew?!

Over the course of 2 weeks, we spent a minimum of 12 hours each day sightseeing, engaging with and absorbing this amazing country, the people and their spirituality. We used 7 modes of local transport but the Shinkansen, my favourite, snaked its way beyond the chaotic cities to towering mountains.

On arrival at Mt. Fuji the mist dissipated and ‘she’ showed herself for the first time this year, cherry blossom framing her exquisite beauty. We rather casually decided to visit the Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum. My friend had never been. And then it happened. A rather unassuming young man opened a cabinet and shared its treasures with us.



Doors open to reveal the ‘Phonoliszt Violina Model B Germany, Hupfeld C.1918’

Internal workings

My brain went into overdrive, my jaw dropped to the ground!

The young man allowed me to spend time with the ‘machine’ after all the other visitors had left and on seeing my appreciation and interest he escorted me to another part of the museum. He found a key, plugged in the electric socket and played yet another extraordinary device, just for me. A private showing, from one interested party to another; that music transcends all else, yes, here was the proof.

Cabinet open ‘Mills Violano Virtuoso’ 1915 Mills Novelty Co. USA

“Arigato gozaimasu”

I predict my future research on these automatons could take years and I’m sure will incorporate a need to visit the museum on many many more occasions………what a bore!!!!

String Trials

Strings are too expensive for players to just purchase themselves and try on a whim. The minute the strings are in place the player has an idea of where the tone/texture/dynamic is heading. But if it’s a sound you don’t like! it’s too late to send them back, the packet is open and the strings are covered in rosin.

String trials, with me, are becoming ever more popular and many players are coming to trial strings, some of which they may never have considered for their instrument. It’s important to have a good set-up in place first of all, with post and bridge at their optimum. It is then possible to compare how a different strength/style of string can take you and your instrument to the next level.

Phone for a chat about the procedure and to book a slot. Telephone me on 07770 846148 to book an appointment

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