Friday, January 9, 2015

Today I wish to think about the good of people and good things the earth offers us. I don’t like aggressive people, weapons, religions or deceit. I prefer to think of the wonderful things that grow here and how people spend their time using earth’s gifts to benefit others. I am talking about beautiful Italy and a town called Cremona that is a small city with a long heritage of violin makers who created instruments for pleasure for generations instead of weapons for destruction. Even animals kill only for hunger. Humans kill for  stuberness  and pleasure. It is the town where handcrafted Stradivarius violins were made and home to the man who created the incredible musical instrument that entertained people for generations.

String instruments were carved from raw wood from the forests there and have stayed intact for generations. The Italians have set a standard of tradition that still flourishes today. Time seems to stand still in the quiet town.  There are lots of bicycles and pedestrians there but somewhere you can hear a professional playing a violin somewhere in the breeze.  It is believed that the violin was invented in this town. If the professional is lucky enough, they are allowed to play a three hundred year old instrument.  There are references to Stradivarius all over town. His magnificent creations have earned their own state of the art museum there.  Many of the 1100 instruments he made with his hands have disintegrated by now but some still live on and some are on display at the museum. Instruments that were crafted in 1750.

The survivors are in great condition and in great demand by musicians from all over the world. Let us have music all over the world and not threats of war please. The original violins were crafted from solid pieces of wood without seams. These violins have been exported and played by the best hands in the world. Now Cremona has brought many of their instruments back home. Some instruments have an earthier sound than others. To keep them supple they all must be played every month and only the best musicians are allowed to play them who are skilled to find the very highest and lowest notes on the wood. The vibrations from the notes keep the 300m year old instruments alive.

Each instrument sounds slightly different. Unlike militant religious followers, Cremona is a town where the past and the present live harmoniously. There are more violin shops than espresso shops in Cremona. Craftsmen are still making new violins there by hand. They are all drawn there from all over the world by history and tradition and the special wood from the forests there. The only thing that has changed here is that now the craftsmen have electric lights. No nails are used in the fastening of the instruments. Tapping the wood reveals a clear tone.  The woods are maple and red spruce that have the great acoustic qualities.

There are only about 650 instruments still in existence. We need rare and beautiful in our lives. Some instruments have sold for $15 million dollars. It is a delicate process to know when enough playing on the instrument is enough before too much. Some have broken in the artists hands. The land of Cremona and the men of the town have created something beautiful for generations of humans to enjoy. Let us use our intellect and brawn for good things in the world for generations of us to enjoy. 

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