The above video takes us into the workshop of master luthier Xavier Vidal i Roca. This is a unique insight into the craftsmanship that goes into creating such a majestic instrument.
It’s fascinating to see the construction process when it’s done to such a high standard – this is akin to seeing the process that goes into the creation of some of the most premium sushi in the world. Each tiny detail is measured, precise and the technique has taken years to perfect.
Luthiers usually use chisels, palette knives and other tools to follow age-old designs then add their own flourishes and details to express their individuality. However closely they might follow a set design and use specific materials, the instrument is always going to sound differently which is part of the magic of this process.
This video should be an interesting insight for cello players as often knowing the most about your instrument can help understanding the best sounds to get out of it –
The documentary is not about sheer craftsmanship: musician and scholar Ramón Andres states that the way the cello, also known as the “king of all instruments” speaks to the human condition fully embodies “the modern consciousness.”
“I do not consider a craftsman to be less than an artist,” says Andrés, “I think that a luthier is a craftsman in his greater degree of expression.”