Sunday, August 19, 2018

Before Cremona- Where Did the Violin Come From?

By Andy Fein, luthier at Fein Violins
and Ivana Truong

Where did the violin family come from?

"1647 Nicola Amati Violin"

Used by permission of the author and publisher of BC, Before Cremona, All rights reserved

It's possible, although not probable, that Andrea Amati woke up one morning and said (in Italian, of course!) "Hey! I've got a great idea for a four stringed musical instrument that doesn't have any frets, is tuned in fifths, has f-holes, violin type corners, pegs that project out to the sides,  and that you play with a stick that has rosined horse hair on it." More likely, the instruments we know as the violin, viola, and cello slowly evolved from previous instruments and were an amalgamation of ideas for instruments that had preceded them by centuries.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Craft Beer and the Craft of Composing- Joey Crane, Composer and Beer Guy

By Andy Fein, luthier at Fein Violins 
and Ivana Truong

In the constantly expanding world of craft beer, it's hard to know what to try, what to avoid, and what is not to your taste. To help guide you, wine has sommeliers, beer has cicerones. A cicerone is a "beer person"  that actually knows what they're talking about. For me (Andy, Ivana's too young to drink), that person is Joey Crane. I first met him at The Ale Jail on St. Clair Ave. in St. Paul. I was perusing the many craft beers and Joey introduced himself as the beer person there. I went away from that first encounter with several beers to try. Now, several years later, I can proclaim without any hint of beer snobbery that "I really like Belgian Ales with secondary in bottle fermentation." And for most cicerones, that's about as far as I'd get to know the person.
Composer Joey Crane