I can’t remember a time before I wanted to learn to play the violin.
I remember weeping with a four-year-old’s whole-hearted frustration because children at my first school were already learning and I didn’t have an instrument to learn – and my parents looking secretively at each other before smiling and taking me up to the attic to show me the little violin they’d bought me, ready to give me on my fifth birthday, and how happy I was.
Once I got one, though, I’m afraid I was just like all other children and didn’t particularly want to practise. So my musical education petered out, though I still love violin music, especially Russian, and Jewish, and gypsy tunes. But later on I got the idea of making one.
Researching this book has been an excuse, years later, to make that dream come true.
I’ve written a long illustrated blog post elsewhere on this website, showing the violin I worked on for four years at a workshop in Cambridge while I was about half way through. Take a look.
Much more recently, I finished it. You can see the result here.