Posted on 4 Comments

old girl, new girl


dear friend of mine, literally coming apart at the seams, on her way to cello hospital in Paisley

Lupercalia was a great success this past weekend – it’s safe to say that the little local music festival that filled the streets and packed ten venues in Owen Sound is the first of many – also safe to say that it will grow. Thanks Josh R, your promoter skills are much appreciated.

I played twice – three times if you include the 3.5 hour recording session with Tyler Wagler on Sunday morning. The other 2 were 6pm with Willi Henry & Patrick Dorfmann @ The Ginger Press, then at midnight crammed in with Tyler and Joel Morelli.

I was not playing my friend, the last cello made by Edouard Bartlett, the one I’ve played every morning these past 2 months – she hates the winter cold/hot/dry of this place, and has come apart on her shoulders. Her voice squeaks where it always sang – so I took her to Sibylle Ruppert, a fine luthier and friend from Paisley, who let me borrow this new girl….:

tulip wood back, maple ribs, BC spruce belly, no corners.


Tiny, lightweight, little imp of a cello, with a shockingly big voice
Definitely female. I've never seen or played a sexier looking cello.

I miss my friend – we have grown into each other these past 10 years.  It will be a while before she comes back to me here.  In the meantime, I play this sleek little otter-girl, and we get to know one another.  It’s exciting and sad and weird, and unsettling and challenging all the time. Will I get along with otter-girl?  Will she work with me, will her voice grow even bigger and mellower than it already is?  Will I find a way to keep her?  Are we meant to work together?  hmmm.

I know I’ll never sell Ed’s cello, though I might rent her to a student I trust.  Could I have two?

Somebody should do a study on the complex, intense bond between a musician and his instrument.

4 thoughts on “old girl, new girl

  1. Hi Keira

    Enjoyed your blog. Got to it via the FB news feed. I love the wooden instrument pictures.
    Made me think of a picture I call cello in the wood box. Probably Ed’s old girl in our wood box with companions. I will send it to you if I haven’t yet done so.

    1. Hey Fred. Thanks- I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. You DID send me a copy of the wordbox cello pic, and yes, it was the one that’s getting repaired. Those are good good memories! Be well, hugs to all yous

  2. That cello sounded so amazing; resonant, lots of volume…and now that you mention it, “she” does look hot! (but what do I know about cellos, I only know what my ears like!)
    You played the new girl beautifully Saturday; perhaps she’s meant to be part of your family…hope the old girl heals and returns to your skillful hands…

    1. Jim, you are truly too kind vis a vis my playing. Thanks for the cello feedback – much appreciated. together she and I are working out each other’s needs – I want different strings, she requires a heavier bow, etc, etc. But I do like her. She does remind me of an otter.

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