So, I traded in Viktoria the viola. After having a few lessons and hearing my teacher’s viola, I realized that Viktoria was cheap and sounded more like a toy viola than a real viola. I went to a strings shop to look for a viola, and they were so incredibly helpful. Most shopkeepers in CA don’t seem overly friendly to me, but these guys were exceptional. They let me take home two different violas on approval (something I thought only happened in IA). I chose this one because it has the best tone. A lot darker and richer than the one I had before. I decided to name her Hester. It fits for a lot of reasons. First, the sound is dark and rich, much like Hester Prynne I think. I’ve been re-reading the Scarlet Letter lately, and I really admire Hester’s character. Yeah, she’s an adulterer, but I think she proves that she’s a very strong and yet humble woman in the face of that. Also, and less significantly, the apartment I live in is the “Hester” model.

Anyway, I’ve learned a lot about stringed instruments. I had no idea that wood could be “flamed,” like it is in the second picture. I guess it’s a natural state for some wood, and it’s admired in stringed instruments. Also, I guess I always thought that violins and violas were mostly flat, but not so. I think that the back of the instrument resembles a human back.

I’m also increasing my repertoire. I’ve learned some fingering, and now I can “play” a few more songs, mostly old hymns. I say “play” because it still sounds much like a sick cat. Someday, someday…


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