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 RedwoodViolin.org 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

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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

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