Making Musical Instruments
Opus 17 - Alto Recorder

Making Musical Instruments
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  • Opus 18
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    Jean- Luc Boudreau built this recorder on the scale of an instrument by Debey, which is preserved at the University of Utrecht, in Holland. However, although the replica has the same proportions and scale as the original, it is tuned to the modern pitch of A=440, rather than the traditional A=415.

      Alto Recorder - CMC 91-23/S93-2936/CD99-47
    Alto Recorder
    By Jean-Luc Boudreau
    Montreal, Quebec
    Moulded polyester resin
    47.7 cm

    This recorder is made entirely of moulded polyester resin, a synthetic product used as a substitute for ivory. Although the material has many advantages, it is hard to handle as it breaks easily during drilling or turning. Jean-Luc Boudreau has achieved a very modern look to this instrument, whose design complements the construction material.

    Opus 18 - Violin Bow

      Violin Bow - CMC 92-15/S92-3506/CD95-652 Violin Bow
    In the manner of
    Dominique Pecatte
    By Bernard Walke
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Pernambuco wood, cow horn, silver thread, silver, mother-of-pearl, abalone, leather, bone, horsehair 74,5 cm
    Brand: "Bernard Walke"

    Walke is a biologist by training, and his concern for the environment has led him to question the use of "living" materials, from animal or plant sources, to build musical instruments and other objects. Cow horn offers an interesting alternative to ivory and tortoiseshell, traditional bow-making materials whose use is now banned. The bow shown here is a modern one, with its nut made of cow horn.


    Bernard Walke

    Bernard Walke has been a bow maker for ten years. His interest in bow making was sparked by his predilection for classical and Celtic music for violin. But his brother, Gregory, also had a hand in his taking up the profession. In 1974, the two brothers had the opportunity to meet John Doherty, a renowned Irish fiddler, in a Donegal pub. The musician's playing and their sustained contact with Irish and Scottish music encouraged the brothers to take up the violin.

    In 1980, back from a stint as a biologist in Nigeria, Walke set about to learn the bow maker's craft, at the insistence of his brother, who had since become a luthier. For two years, Bernard apprenticed under Peter Mach, a luthier and bow maker in Aylmer, Quebec. During this time, he also met Dominik Zuchowicz, who taught him about early music and the construction of viols, which sparked his interest in making baroque bows. He opened a workshop in Toronto in 1982 and studied early French and English bows. In 1984, Bernard Walke settled in Ottawa, where he makes bows for modern violins and for baroque instruments.

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