I'm removing the last grams from a violin bow, it's a long, extremely meticulous job... the pernambuco bow stick is excellent, perfectly conical, and my very fine files should not affect this perfection.
I proceed millimeter by millimeter, checking almost every step, as light as the caress of a nightingale wing, I know that to remove a few grams and maintain perfection it is necessary to cancel time, cancel every other sensation, become the file that passes lightly and at every step, inexhaustible, steals butterfly wing dust.
It's a long journey, done countless times, and while I'm traveling, as if a part of me was sitting in an armchair of a first class Orient Express wagon, and I looked outside, seeing the landscape change rapidly, memories and questions arrive...
I wonder to whom this magnificent bow is intended, superb, fierce, proud, impeccable, demanding, and cursed, totally selfish, it is it which decides who will be able to hold it ... perhaps a musician with an extraordinary ancient violin, strong, proud, imperious, with staccato and flutes reminiscent of those of Krylov ... yes, here a few grams less helps... or a female violinist, no longer so young, slender, lethal, glacial, demanding... yes, of russian school, Shamaratza Katzaritza, so said the teacher of my girls, majestic in walking despite her being tiny, a Vasile in shape, double strings to jump off the chair, perfect, relentless, unstoppable ... better then stop, a few grams more for her ...
And I try it, a hundred and a hundred times, beautiful and cursed, fluid on the strings, magnificent from the tip to the heel, everything seems easy, it's all easy, jump, staccato, legato, detaché, harmonic, trills, very fast ... and the sound, ah, the sound, clean, harmonic unfolded, warm, delicate and powerful, the capriccio 23, impeccable, and the devilish 13, it too, tamed.
And then the musicians come, and they test it, and laugh, the contentment bursts, someone lets go a f.. ! of wonder and enthusiasm, and then yes, the other bow is also magnificent, but I prefer this one ...and why?
At first I used to ask, why?, believing that sooner or later they would tell me something unique, unexpected, for me unspeakably precious, to increase my knowledge of the art of the bow making ... and many have tried to respond, yielding to my authentic and deep interest, describing in detail one or the other aspect, magnificent, and sadly, for me, useless.
And then I stopped asking why, when they tell me "I prefer this" I smile with all the joy I have, veiling with that my sadness to find myself alone again in front of a mystery that I want to solve and that, after two decades of attempts, I have not yet solved it satisfactorily ... a friend suggests me to surrender to the mystery, too great the complexity, too numerous and largely unknown variables, for now it is analogous to the chemistry of the philosopher's stone ... he is a good friend, sincere, honest, wise... but I can't give up.
It has been like this from the beginning, with my first and only teacher, he worse than me, the questions must be answered imperatively, and the more difficult they are, the more vital it is to give answers ... stubborn him, almost obsessed, and me not very far away, we understood each other ... yes, he understood me, I had the proof, and I understood him, and he was happy.
My search for the perfect formula cannot end, it will probably end with me, when I finish... and in the meantime?
Meanwhile, my sure guide is the musician, his unrepeatable uniqueness, never before her, never before him, and never after them ... and so my intent, unique, my commitment, all that I know and I am, is for that special, unique, musician, they must have their bow, unique, like them, nothing ever so before them, nothing ever so after them.
And so, for some time now, this is one of the most exciting and beautiful things I do, because I can do them, because I know how to do them... it's work together, challenging, from some sessions we both come out spent, exhausted ... and happy.
Musician and Master Bowmaker together... and I am embarrassed to call me Maestra, in English it is easier, there is simply Master, Maestra, in Italian, risks recalling the schoolmarm, while here it means Mastro, who has imperium on the mastery of this art. And I am also a woman, fierce and proud to be it, and I fight every day the violent and unfair disparity that has affected us for thousands of years, to which I oppose and will oppose ... for this reason I decided to endure the embarrassment of possible misunderstanding, which would not exist if I adopted "Maestro Archettaio", and with courage say what is true: I am Maestra Archettaio.
Musician and Master Bowmaker, together, at work, together they try, together they study, together they bring into the world the bow of the Musician, unique, unrepeatable, that only that Musician can and will be able to hold, perfect and powerful as the bow of Ulysses, the bow that in the voice of the instrument impeccably unfolds every intent of the Musician.