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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: November 29, 2006 Archive

Credit Where Credit is Due

Posted at 6:11 PM on November 29, 2006 by Valerie Kahler
Filed under: The blog

I was all in a dither to read this article in the Toronto Post. It's not just about a cello, but about a carbon fiber cello! Since I happen to own one of these little black beauties myself (one of the R & D models from a friend's company, Quintus, in Camp Verde, Arizona), I thought the article would have a shout-out to the Cook clan of AZ...stir up a little home-state pride, y'know.

Not so much.

No mention of Quintus. The story refers only to carbon-fibre instruments by a company called Luis & Clark, which has the weight of celebrity endorsements on its side, with kudos from Edo de Waart, Kurt Masur and Yo Yo Ma. They're also the first hit when you google "carbon fiber instrument." The instruments were developed by Boston Symphony cellist Luis Leguia and a sailboat-making pal of his. Apparently it was Leguia's love for sailing that got him thinking about building a sturdier, lighter, more weather-proof instrument. How can I not root for a guy who's been playing the cello his whole life AND loves the feel of sun and spray on his face?

And yet...it made me feel a bit sad that the article made it seem as though Messrs. Luis & Clark are the sole pioneers in this weird little field.

Both companies seem to have launched products around 1996 - essentially simultaneous development of the same thing at the same time. Is this just another example of what scientists call parallel evolution? Or what more mystical types think of as the collective unconscious?

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