Jenny Yun is a violinist and Youtube video maker who creates nicely (not overly) produced recordings of the Suzuki repertoire. She dresses well, stages her videos in well-appointed rooms, employs a professional accompanist, and even does some of them in a recording studio. She can also really play the violin. On top of that, I think she is some kind of K-pop star. I won’t purport to offer informed commentary about K-pop, but I can report that her Suzuki tracks are top notch.
Michael might be almost as enamored of Jenny and her videos as I am, and the other night he presented me with a gift. He somehow downloaded her recording of the Bach Double Violin Concerto into a music file and installed it on my phone as my ringtone. I’ve been working on this Bach Double Concerto for a good while now – over five months – and I will be working on it for quite a while longer. Even after I finish Book Four, the violin one part is the final piece of Book Five, so this ringtone will be relevant to my Suzuki pursuits for a long time.
The endeavor reminded me of Ringtone Variations, the Sebastian Currier piece that I heard performed by Anne Sophie Mutter and double bassist Roman Patkolo Back in 2014. The contemporary work was commissioned by Mutter and is dedicated to her. At the time I wrote that the composer means ringtones like most of us do – the little chirps of sound that come from our phones. Little chirps is hardly how I would describe my new baroque masterpiece ringtone!
Teacher came to my lesson bearing the other musical enhancement I picked up over the past week – a new shoulder rest. Ever since I ditched the sponge and rubber band that I purchased for my short-lived rental, I’ve used a shoulder rest that she also brought me. Teacher recently switched to a new one herself, a Linnd model, and suggested I might like it too. The new shoulder rest is thinner and lighter in weight than my old one. The feet are small as well, creating a finer point of attachment to the instrument. The design is meant to put very little pressure on the back of the violin so the wood can resonate more fully with less sound dampening than other shoulder rests produce.
I’m still working on adjusting this new hardware to suit me. After using the same one for over five years I of course grew accustomed to it. I do think I can detect some improvements in the sound quality from the violin from using the new shoulder rest, but overall it will take a little more time for me to get comfortable with it.
New violin stuff is fun stuff.
Thanks for reading.