Embodiment and Materiality Network

emboiment materiality

At our last meeting Bruno Guastalla from Oxford Violins spoke about his work as an instrument maker and restorer. Bringing with him tools and examples of violins in various stages of completion, Bruno described the intricate processes involved in crafting a new violin. Questions raised by the group and the discussion that followed touched on the traditions of Stradivarius and Amati, the tactility of knowledge within instrument making, and the relationship between language and materials, prompted by Bruno’s use of animate language in relation to his practice. His characterisation of a violin as ‘pugnacious’ was particularly striking. The bodily nature of the violin was also discussed, whose anatomy includes a body, neck, rib, belly, tail and even an anima, or soul. 

Violin in construction

Image used with permission from Bruno Guastalla.


Embodiment and Materiality

Contact name: Eric Clarke

Contact email: eric.clarke@music.ox.ac.uk

Audience: University of Oxford only