Distinguished Luthier at the EGS constructs cello during August Session
The EGS inaugurated, in its 2017 August session in Saas-Fee, a project devoted to the question of craft. At its heart was the construction of a cello by the distinguished luthier, Robert Brewer Young.
Starting with only the sides of the instrument already prepared (all the rest remaining to be carved), Young, with two assistants and help from several EGS volunteers, completed the cello within three weeks--in time for a concert by the distinguished cellist, Christophe Coin, on the closing evening of the session. (Christophe Coin will return to play the new EGS cello during the October session in Malta). This was the third concert held during the session, the first featuring the "Circle" violin by Stradivari, and the second featuring the "guitar music" of Rodolphe Burger with cinematic accompaniment by Pierre Alferi.
Immediately prior to this concluding concert, a ground-breaking three-day seminar on philosophical approaches to the question of craft directed by Nico Jenkins, Christopher Fynsk and Robert Brewer Young was brought to its conclusion. Ranging through questions derived from the philosophy of geometry, Marx's notion of production, and Heidegger's claim that thought is a form of craft, the seminar created an extraordinary backdrop for the birth of the cello and the masterful performance by Christophe Coin. Perhaps no conclusion to an EGS session has been quite so dramatic or so moving.
The projected was carefully documented and will form the basis of a special volume containing photography and pieces of writing from EGS faculty and students. This volume will be available within the coming months--it's own "crafting" conceived as part of the Cello Project.
August Session concerts can be viewed on video, produced by Pirooz Kalayeh (more videos are fourthcoming):