Mijn klant Mark Nelson, professioneel altviolist, is Arcus strijkstokken aan het proberen en is zo vriendelijk geweest zijn ervaringen te delen.


It comes from me noticing that the  S7  has some remarkable qualities.

Firstly  –  in its  use of  zero compression – the bow floats  in a way that reduces the  extra ‘distal limb synergy’. On any instrument.

Meaning I waggled lower spine to compensate for the inverted U (Tourte  bow ideal design) too much.

Not such an uncommon thing for powerplayers. Look at www.sofiamusicschiool.nl/webwavs/disc.htm

Even when sitting. The last four bars of pag 1st caprice (Paganini, red) were done with a Berg bow, heavily accenting the penultimate return on D string  (saltato) to G string in high positions. A common issue, albeit compression in raw form.

Course might have been something to do with breaking 3 tandems in places where they had never  seen a bike before (Skippers in New Zealand 40 seated river crossings on a tandem – pple in land rovers have been known to drown  doing same).- but it was no problem, bike just needed TIG welded afterwards.

Pity It took me so long to realise that not only did Paganini never perform publically his caprices –  but the  zen like  kung fu  approaches – gleaned from the Russians- just  guarantee early burn out – unless  ergonomic attention is always servant to artistic ideal.

Which is generally  rare to hear, either on stage, or in the classroom.

Talent is balance. Balance is rarely seen as needing to be taught.Why???

Complex movements are  resolved by uncompressed antagonistic contractors… (twitch muscles). Problem is that large  muscle ( Prime movers) require tension (lessness) regularly reduced to alternate  compressions, relaxation to less than 5% of twitch  muscles, in 90% of  exellent teaching.

It shouldnt be.

Balance is  what realeases compression.

Art is humourous disfigurement.

Menuhen preferred the term  ‘slight deformation’ ,while referring to even great performances.

So what I consider a gift from heaven is a bow which quietly reflects all past deformation.

In my case, as compressions.

I noticed that my  plethora of  spinal  compression belts  simply  were rendered obsolete in the 3rd week of  playing an S7 viola Arcus bow – on vl and vla.

I found that Arcus simply reduces players to balance.

Yes that included a lot of learning to play (on lesser vla/vl + bows) on a giant swiss ball (balancing precariously 1,2 metres above ground ,feet seeming miles from their  ape like  instinct to  grasp of the floor,as if a branch!)

To find a stick to walk with, defense ,acquisition , drawing  in the sands of time ,  – on the cliff face of  uncertainty, becomes the  driving reason behind the  serious student’s striving for perfection. Reason may be seen as compressed desire.

But I  could not imagine a nicer way of   letting the bow breathe ,than  allowing  their  medically  responsible design to do it for  the violin ,or viola.

It was a little naughty to  use it as hybrid between vl and vla- but  –  space between the stick and hair is  why pag himself  performed  his greatest concerts on merely barok bows and setup. Coincidental to his switch to Tourt’s  persuasion –  – he found the elusivity of analysis  reduced his stellar  career to  but 10 international years. (Compared to Ysaye’s 40 years)

So I am puzzled, to say the least – as to Arcus’ modesty- The bows are  simply a medical prerequisite for all players who still like the smell of burning rosin, as they play!

And thank god  someone realised  the classical  need for some  tall player’s   build  not to be fitted into Tourte’s    compressed maths!.

I would like to show  how ,maybe I will make a film when I’m ready.


Mark N”