The Meditation of Stradivarius0
The young Benedetto cuts and carves wood in the workshop of the old master Antonio Stradivarius. When he was a child he would put his face to the window in the street, spellbound by the instruments, until one day the Master invited him to enter; transforming his life forever.
By crossing the threshold of the shop’s door every day, Benedetto enters a different space and time, where the order within contains a mystery that over the years he will be understand and absorb.
To build a violin, the Master has a ritual. He spends his evenings in the room where he dries the wood, tapping the wood pieces with his fingers until he finds the right piece. When he discovers one, he puts it at the back of the shop and he observes it silently, without moving for days.
One afternoon Benedetto asked him about this custom, to which the Master replied:
I observe the wood until I can no longer see. Penetrating its smell, its colour, its texture, go around its grain and I find the way inside. Among vibrating atoms, where everything is homogeneous, I find the instrument immobile, as if it were asleep in the womb.
Its weight and measurements, its bridge and fingerboard are mathematically exact. Between the back and the table I discover the perfect place for the soul, where the subtle lateral tension, the strength which will give it movement in a constant dynamic equilibrium. I hear its sound, I invite it to live and hope for the permission of the forest spirit, which for years had watched it grow.
Ignacio Botella Ausina