So…. it is HIGH time to present you my new viola “Magnus”, conceived and built by MasterSoundMagician André Theunis who has been my absolute favorite luthier since over a decade.
I am absolutely over the moon with joy with Magnus, he really sounds fabulous! The richness and versatility of his timbre all over, from the lowest to the highest note — and on all strings equally beautiful and easy to attain in all positions — is really, really stunning. You can actually almost ‘eat’ the sound, taste it, drink it…. yes, I am…. in love.
And it’s a stunning beauty just to look at as well.
And there is a little story attached to it….
I was actually not really looking for a new viola, I had a very good one that I played for just over 20 years, and never ever thought about changing it, it really fit my needs very well.
Or…… to be perfectly honest, the last year, since I have been going through quite some evolution and transformation on a personal level (after joining the MasterKey course, you can find out more about that here, I highly recommend it to everyone!), I was a bit frustrated at times with my sound. But I just thought it was ‘me’, didn’t think about getting another instrument. But somehow, a ‘demand’ existed in my mind, on an unconscious level….
Now you have to know that André started making a viola about 6 years ago, simply because he felt like it, he is like that, he follows his intuition — which is, by the way, extraordinary strong! But it went very slow…. every time I entered his shop, I inquired about the viola-in-porgress, because of course I was curious, not because I wanted to buy one. But for years, not a lot seemed to happen.
Then all of a sudden, a bit out of the blue, I got a call, last june 2016….. telling me the viola was ready, and that he wanted me to be the first one to make it sing….. Now, what an honor, of course…. and so I went there as soon as I could, entered the shop, saw the instrument (beauty!!!), took it in my hands and started playing….. and…. I knew. I instantly knew that THIS was MY viola….
I didn’t tell him that, I felt a bit shaken because I was not looking nor planning to buy another instrument, and hey, it is not like going to a bakery and just by a bread…..
It’s a story of perfect synchronicity, if Magnus would have been finished earlier, I would most probably not have been ‘bitten’ by it because I needed to be ‘fit’ to manage its sound-capacities… and André needed that time to go even further in his own investigations and experiments and deep understanding about all the secrets of sound and string-instruments.
So I took it home with me for 2 weeks, ‘to see how it would evolve and because it needs to be played on for that’ (and of course because I wanted some time with it to figure out if my initial feeling was right 😉 ) …. confirmation came really quick of course, NO WAY that I was going to let it go anymore…..
So now I play it since a few months, and I really have to force myself to STOP playing, I just would go on for hours and hours and hours…. it’s absolute BLISS.
This is his story told by André:
“In the beginning, there was Wood …
….connected with the umbilical chord to the point ‘G’ , it took 6 years ….
… as from the moment of his birth, he was able to sing ….
… we gave him the name ‘Magnus’, and when he saw Dominica, it was love at first sight.’
So OF COURSE now you want to hear him! Well, come to my concert on october 29, 2016 in Antwerp in OPUS4!