한 달여 동안 마틴의 웹사이트를 살펴보다가 마침내 용기를 내어 전화를 걸었습니다. 친구를 사귈 수 있고 성장할 수 있는 악기를 배우고 싶다고 결심했을 때 바이올린을 연주한 지 두어 달밖에 되지 않았기 때문에 약간 사기당한 기분이 들었습니다. 이미 인터넷을 통해 주문한 바이올린 몇 대를 사용해 보았지만 그다지 감흥을 주지 못했습니다. 저는 마틴에게 제가 찾고 있는 것이 무엇인지 설명했고, 확실히 가치가 있고 약간의 투자가 될 수 있는 '흥미로운' 것을 원한다고 말했습니다. Martin은 친절하고 친근하게 다가왔으며 바이올린에 대해 많은 것을 알고 있었고, 제 모든 질문에 매우 정직하고 직설적인 방식으로 인내심을 가지고 답변해 주었고, 자신의 매력과 경험을 공개적으로 공유했습니다.
Although he was quite willing to send me a couple of violins to try out, I am not great at making decisions and knew that I wanted to try them all out before I made my mind up. I was leaning towards this 18th Century English one he had just got in, as it was light, pretty and interesting, it ticked all the boxes so to speak.
I drove down to his workshop the following weekend, he had laid out five violins that he had selected as being suitable for me, and diplomatically left me alone to try them out to see what I thought. His advice was clear, to choose the one that resonated the best when I played it, in other words trust my own judgement. In the end I did come home with the 18th Century English one, thoroughly delighted with my choice and feeling like I had made a sound decision.
I think for me the key was I felt safe in Martin’s hands. He is clearly fascinated by and deeply involved with the world of violins on every level, he had already preselected all his violins on one basis only: that they sounded great, no snobbery, no BS, no names unless they sounded great too. I had a wonderful couple of hours picking his brains and playing some great violins, and came away thinking if I had discovered the world of violins 30 years ago, I would have perhaps become a maker myself. Now I am looking forward to my youngest boy upgrading to a full size violin so we can go and pay Martin another visit!
Wendy Richardson, Scotland