The violins remain silent. Cellos too.
They are resting. Nursed. Coddled.
In the heart of Artistic Montreal.
In a little workshop.
Bertrand. Olivier. André.
Work in the shadows.
They plane. Burn. Weave. Carve. Paste. Sand.
Slowly. Carefully. Calmly.
In a religious silence.
Only their tools are speaking.
Passed down from one lute maker to another. For four generations.
They are still expressing themselves. In Amandine’s hands.
Just in from France. To receive that knowledge. Workshop experience.
Inherited from the founding father.
Gyula Szentmihaly aka Jules Saint-Michel.
« I turn dry wood into a living thing. »
At the top of the stairs, on his small workbench,
He is giving birth to instruments.
His « friends.»
« They are alive. They could cry. »
His passion came from Budapest’s cafés.
« It’s gypsy violins !
At three years old, I wanted to be a musician. »
« Even now, at my age, I talk to my violin and he talks to me. »
But half a century ago, it’s almost a doctor that came to Montreal.
« My mother wanted me to do a real job. »
« Here, my years of medical studies were not recognized.
I would’ve had to start over. »
« I took the opportunity to return to my real passion, the violin. »
« Finally, I prefer healing violins than people. »
« Because I always succeed. »
« Even a piece of a piece of a violin, I can turn it into a good violin. »
Strings are being resonated by an ingenious mechanism. Down there.
At the workshop’s entrance, the door opens.
His daughter Lili greets the clients.
Olivier, his grandson, crafts bows.
In a corner, big stamps are exposed.
« Canada Post put my hands on a stamp. »
« My violin traveled across Canada. »
« I will never sell it. »
The violins getting better. Cellos too.