J'ai beaucoup joué du violon quand j'étais enfant, jusqu'à la huitième année, et j'ai joué dans divers orchestres amateurs et groupes folkloriques, mais je n'ai recommencé à jouer régulièrement que depuis quelques années.
Je voulais un bien meilleur violon que celui avec lequel j'ai grandi, mais je ne savais pas trop par où commencer. En particulier, j'avais déjà essayé le violon d'un ami (un professionnel, avec un c.£250,000 violon italien), et j'ai eu du mal à produire un bon son avec, je savais donc que ce n'était pas seulement une question de prix !
I initially tried buying a violin on eBay. It seemed better than my existing instrument and I was initially happy with it, until I joined an orchestra when I realised I couldn’t hear myself play without bowing practically on the bridge. I went back to my original violin, and started looking again.
After spending a few months trying instruments from local violin dealers, I was struggling to find anything sufficiently better than what I had for my budget, and some googling/”research” took me to Martin Swan’s website. I liked the description of his own label “artist violin” in particular, as I was looking for a violin that was responsive (read: relatively easy to play!), as well as having a great sound, and volume. I spoke with Martin and he had a choice of three, and I went for the brightest sounding one as the instrument I grew up with was very bright.
I’ve now had my instrument for a year, and love it! I feel it has really helped me develop as a player, with the violin being a lot more resonant than I’ve had before, particularly in the higher registers, and it’s capable of making a much wider range of sounds. I wish I’d had an instrument of this quality from about age 14/15, however it’s better late than never!
John Coulthard, London, UK