Carpenters of Sound. Photo Exhibit

An exhibit of my photographic art work featuring hands of violin makers at work during the 2014 Sweet Water Music Festival, Canada. Here is the text by María Constanza Guzmán that accompanied the exhibition.

Luthiers bring their instruments into the world and play them for the first time --a transcendental ritual. However, these artists are often invisible behind their instruments. While their body is part of that of their creators', their instruments, once completed, move to other hands where they begin a new life. But once they migrate, the connection between them and the luthiers' hands remains.

The photos of Itzel Ávila--luthier and photographer--seek to reveal the continuity between the body of these artists and their instruments. It is in the link between the hands and the instrument's wood, its texture, shape and form, where we can catch a glimpse of the symbiotic relationship between an instrument and the luthier's body.

Here is a sample of some of my pictures

Sweet Water Music Festival 2014. Luthiers Exhibit

Great music in a great place. "We'll be Bach" again this year with this new instruments exhibit within the music festival. Looking forward to see again colleagues and friends from Ontario.

Violin Makers Ontario

Violin makers participants in this exhibition.

Muestra de arquetería canadiense contemporánea en México

Fue un placer representar a varios de los mejores arqueteros de Canadá en esta muestra de arquetería organizada en la Escuela Superior de Música.

Uno de mis proyectos como laudera mexicano-canadiense es contribuir al intercambio y a la creación de puentes entre lauderos y músicos de ambos países. Espero tener la oportunidad de continuar con estas iniciativas. Quiero agradecer el apoyo de mi querido maestro Cuauhtémoc Rivera, hoy día Director de la Escuela Nacional de Música, por su apoyo y por creer en proyectos de esta naturaleza.

Coming soon: Luna

Cornerless violins are known for their generous tone and fast response. They are preferred by top soloist such as Joshua Bell or Simone LamsmaThis one is inspired by Stradivarius' "Mlynarski" (1718). It'll be ready soon. My pictures. 


Cremona International Exhibition 2013. Thrilled to participate with my instruments

Once again, it was an amazing experience to participate with my instruments in this International Exhibition in Cremona. I feel very honored for being featured as a violin maker in this international catalog launched at the exhibition.

It was great to catch up with former teachers, colleagues and friends from different places.

Bach to the future! Music, Art and Violin Making at the Sweet Water Festival

Here are a few pictures of this year's amazing music festival. As part of the program there was a Luthier and Photo exhibit, in which I participated along with colleagues and friends from Ontario and elsewhere. 

Coming Soon: Adriano!

I worked a lot in Adriano during a stage in northern Portugal. I installed my temporary workshop in this wonderful villa and winery located in Cabeceiras do Basto. Adriano's  wood tanned and settled under the generous sun of the valley and the shades of the vines.

I bet It will have a sunny and warm sound.

I'll be ready soon!  

Salon de la lutherie et de l'archèterie contemporaines 2013

Ce fut un grand honeur et un grand plaisir de participer avec mes instruments au Salon de la lutherie et de l'archèterie contemporaines à Montréal.

The event took place at the Fine Arts Museum of Montreal (Musée des Beaux Arts). It was a great opportunity to meet musicians and colleagues as well as to catch up with old pals from the field.

In Cuba

I have just learned that the Project Amitiés Québec-Cuba won't be active any more this year. This is a good, although sad occasion to think about the projects that took me there as a violin Maker.

I went two times as a volunteer to an Arts school in Matanzas. I was part of this organization that worked on a Luthiers-Without-Borders kind of model. A project cosponsored by Wilder & Davis Luthiers, Montreal.

It was a great experience to repair bows and instruments for local musicians and students during a few weeks in 2007 and 2012. Bringing Emilia, my 6 years old daughter, with me, made it quite a significant experience for both of us. She attended regular school classes with locals as well as the Arts school in the afternoon. During which I worked tirelessly along with other luthiers and friends from Quebec, repairing, setting up, adjusting and reconstructing literally hundreds of instruments. The second time I volunteered in Cuba, I was also very happy to deliver a donation of nearly one hundred bows (a very generous gift from Sinoman Music), as well as violins and accessories from different colleagues and shops from Canada.

Another very significant experience was in 2011, when I was working for The Sound Post. I was hired as a Luthier in Residence by the Harvard-Radcliffe Symphony Orchestra during what was the first tournée of an American Orchestra in Cuba since the economic embargo in 1960. For the very first time since then, one American orchestra performed together with Cuban orchestras on Cuban soil. They played works from the international repertoire such as Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as well as symphonic master works by Cuban composers. It was an incredible exchange over a universal language, music, capable to brig together young performers from the two countries.

During the tournée, I was in charge of the well-being of the instruments, a difficult and endless task considering the local climate conditions and the little time the American instruments had to adapt to it.

I was looking forward to volunteer again this year in the Cuban project, and of course to see again friends and colleagues I met there during the past experiences. I really hope we can revive, and extend to other countries, this important project. 

Here are a few pictures from the above mentioned experiences.