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2018 New Years’ Interview with Mariko Senju : #01

2018/1/1 UP

We are pleased to inform you that we will be posting interview in 3 parts, in the new year.
In this first part, we have asked Ms. Senju about her days with her violin, “Duranty”.

<Part 01>

ー15 years have passed since 2002, your fateful encounter with your violin “Duranty”.

To be honest, I cannot believe that 15 years have passed already!
I still have that sensational feeling and excitement from when I actually met “Duranty” for the first time. I couldn’t believe that “Duranty” was with me and had to go and check if the instrument was still actually there and I was only relieved after checking the existence in my room.

Now, the instrument is really in a good shape. But in the first 5 years, it was really a difficult time. I couldn’t control it and first when I woke up in the mornings and started playing, the sound really didn’t open up or wake up and only after playing for 7 to 8 hours, it started awakening but I would be too exhausted by then. I really had to work myself to the bone , even for concerts. So, I decided to change myself to confront with the instrument and thought about how to build strength and energy and shape my body towards it, changing everything, actually.

ーWas it so hard until you got used to it ?

Yes, I tried out almost everything that I could think of. I tried out and changed the hair of the bow, changed the rosin, tried out different strings . I was trying to find out what the instrument was requiring from me, and tried out playing hard, playing soft and making various adjustments with the instrument and also the environment like room temperature and humidity. Before “Duranty”, I used to use shoulder rests once in a while, but with “Duranty” , I realized that the shoulder rests somehow took away the beautiful sound of the instrument so I stopped using it. It is easier to play with a shoulder rest but I could not take the risk of spoiling the sound. It also didn’t work with a handkerchief between my chin and the violin.
I really concentrated in making it sound at its best.
After a while, I got used to the instrument and it gradually opened up to me. I started picking up and understood the characteristics of “Duranty” and we both came closer with each other.
I think I had changed during the course. As a result, I changed the bow three times. I actually had this piece I wanted to play and the exact bow appeared at the right timing. It was like that “Duranty” was calling the bows to come to us. Bows are also really expensive so I had to take out a loan each time which made my life harder. (laughing)

ーYou will still have another 20 or 30 years with “Duranty” ahead of you.

Indeed !
I do think that there still will be many changes during the course.
It still changes in seasons and I don’t know how it is going to change or develop but I will sure be adjusting to the changes by developing my performance style and expression.
I am learning a lot from the instrument, it guides me and teaches me all the time.