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On January 1st this year I effectively quit my violinmaking day job and devoted myself fulltime to the Redwood Violin Project. The idea was to make a violin, from scratch, using only materials from within 25 miles of my house. I asked for help with making the violin from as many local artisans as possible. I documented the building process and I made video portraits of all of the participants.

Materials assembled at the start of the Made Local phase of the project. Photograph: John Burgess, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Because the scope of the project was too extensive to be effectively covered in this blog, I started several new digital outlets:

  • The a dedicated website. which outlines the goals and progress of the project
  • A periodic newsletter
  • A Facebook page which will mostly be used to promote the violin performances
  • A YouTube channel which ended up being the main reporting outlet. To date there are 45 short videos covering:
    • Collecting and processing the materials
    • Building the violin
    • Interviews with the artisans and local businesses who contributed skills and materials

Please sign up with, Follow or Subscribe to any or all or the above to stay up to date with this project!

The project has three phases

  1. Made Local: collecting materials and building the violin
  2. Played Local: having the violin played by local and visiting musicians with the aim of highlighting local talent and promoting artistic collaborations
  3. Stayed Local: The violin will be donated to the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra to benefit deserving students.

Made Local

The Made Local phase of the project is now complete Here is a summary video. There are many more detailed videos on the Redwood Violin YouTube Channel

Played Local

Played Local is officially kicking off with a broadcast of “Concertina for Violin and Strings” by local student composer Gwendolyn Thalia Przyjazna, performed by the Young Person’s Chamber Orchestra