THE SHAPING OF THE BOOK

The writing of The Sound in the Woods began with a road trip into the Pacific Northwest to visit with David Gusset, a violin maker who would become the cornerstone for the book’s creation.

My discovery of David happened by sheer luck. His name was the first to pop up on a web search as I was looking to find a luthier with whom I could research the art of violin making. Intrigued by David’s ties to my home state of Utah — he was one of the first graduates of Peter Prier’s Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City — along with his mastery in creating what some deem as the ‘world’s most beautiful violin,’ I called him up. What ensued was extraordinary…

When David opened the door to his workshop — a wooden structure tucked behind his home in Eugene, Oregon, I felt as if I had stepped back more than five centuries when the art of violin making was born. Warm bulbs hanging from the ceiling and a quiet natural light illuminated this one room shop. A crowded array of hand tools lined the wall just beneath a row of stringed instruments in various stages of creation or repair. Books about music, physics and architecture stood on shelves. And patterns and pieces of instruments were scattered across well-loved workbenches, among swirls of wood shavings. Creaking stairs led to an attic where David lifted a block of red spruce from a carefully stacked trove, and we made our way back down to begin lessons in this art form.

Continued below…

If requested, author Tamara will be happy to sign your book(s).

THE SHAPING OF THE BOOK

The writing of The Sound in the Woods began with a road trip into the Pacific Northwest to visit with David Gusset, a violin maker who would become the cornerstone for the book’s creation.

My discovery of David happened by sheer luck. His name was the first to pop up on a web search as I was looking to find a luthier with whom I could research the art of violin making. Intrigued by David’s ties to my home state of Utah — he was one of the first graduates of Peter Prier’s Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City — along with his mastery in creating what some deem as the ‘world’s most beautiful violin,’ I called him up. What ensued was extraordinary…

When David opened the door to his workshop — a wooden structure tucked behind his home in Eugene, Oregon, I felt as if I had stepped back more than five centuries when the art of violin making was born. Warm bulbs hanging from the ceiling and a quiet natural light illuminated this one room shop. A crowded array of hand tools lined the wall just beneath a row of stringed instruments in various stages of creation or repair. Books about music, physics and architecture stood on shelves. And patterns and pieces of instruments were scattered across well-loved workbenches, among swirls of wood shavings. Creaking stairs led to an attic where David lifted a block of red spruce from a carefully stacked trove, and we made our way back down to begin lessons in this art form.

Continued below…

If requested, author Tamara will be happy to sign your book(s).

DAVID handed me the wood, and asked me to tap it and listen.

From this small piece of spruce came the most beautiful ringing tone. I was riveted as I learned what made this wood so magical. For centuries the red spruce tree has flourished in a forest that stretches along the slopes of the Dolomite mountains in the Val di Fiemme of northern Italy. The cold air of this region coaxes the spruce to grow straight and tall at a slow slow pace, packing the tree rings tightly together and giving the wood great strength. With years of drying, the wood acquires this ringing quality that no other wood can match. The red spruce tree held the kind of wonderment that every writer hopes to harvest for a story.

Reaching into a small tub in the corner, David plucked a smooth pink stone from a colorful grouping, and set it on the table. He said these stones were used to sharpen every tool he made — an essential step for an artist whose every violin was crafted solely by hand with the same patterns, materials and methods of the old masters. The next three days were spent soaking in the science and subtle nuances of David’s artistry — the kind of skills and understanding that create remarkable instruments with the same warm rich tones that had captivated me in Joshua Bell’s performance.

When the lessons came to a close, and the recordings of David’s every word were packed in my bag, I realized this visit had offered more than just the foundation for my children’s story. It was the start of a friendship with a humble hardworking man who dedicated his life to creating the ‘sound in the woods’ so the violin’s music would never end.

I wrote The Sound in the Woods in celebration of all the moments along the way to making a magnificent instrument, and to illuminate all the time-honored traditions and treasures of a trade that must continue to live.

So in harmony with the violin’s creation, a lyrical narrative was shaped and shined and refined. And the story of The Sound in the Woods is now making its way into the hearts and homes of families.

DAVID handed me the wood, and asked me to tap it and listen.

From this small piece of spruce came the most beautiful ringing tone. I was riveted as I learned what made this wood so magical. For centuries the red spruce tree has flourished in a forest that stretches along the slopes of the Dolomite mountains in the Val di Fiemme of northern Italy. The cold air of this region coaxes the spruce to grow straight and tall at a slow slow pace, packing the tree rings tightly together and giving the wood great strength. With years of drying, the wood acquires this ringing quality that no other wood can match. The red spruce tree held the kind of wonderment that every writer hopes to harvest for a story.

Reaching into a small tub in the corner, David plucked a smooth pink stone from a colorful grouping, and set it on the table. He said these stones were used to sharpen every tool he made — an essential step for an artist whose every violin was crafted solely by hand with the same patterns, materials and methods of the old masters. The next three days were spent soaking in the science and subtle nuances of David’s artistry — the kind of skills and understanding that create remarkable instruments with the same warm rich tones that had captivated me in Joshua Bell’s performance.

When the lessons came to a close, and the recordings of David’s every word were packed in my bag, I realized this visit had offered more than just the foundation for my children’s story. It was the start of a friendship with a humble hardworking man who dedicated his life to creating the ‘sound in the woods’ so the violin’s music would never end.

I wrote The Sound in the Woods in celebration of all the moments along the way to making a magnificent instrument, and to illuminate all the time-honored traditions and treasures of a trade that must continue to live.

So in harmony with the violin’s creation, a lyrical narrative was shaped and shined and refined. And the story of The Sound in the Woods is now making its way into the hearts and homes of families.

NOTE OF GRATITUDE

My heartfelt thanks to Music Director Kayson Brown and his Lyceum Youth Orchestras Program at American Heritage School for allowing me to feature his renowned Lyceum Philharmonic performing ‘Simple Gifts’ in the video at the top of this page. This video was chosen as it’s music conveys beauty, generosity, humility and freedom, all essential to the making of a violin.

Thank you. ~ Tamara

NOTE OF GRATITUDE

My heartfelt thanks to Music Director Kayson Brown and his Lyceum Youth Orchestras Program at American Heritage School for allowing me to feature his renowned Lyceum Philharmonic performing ‘Simple Gifts’ in the video at the top of this page. This video was chosen as it’s music conveys beauty, generosity, humility and freedom, all essential to the making of a violin.

Thank you. ~ Tamara

Make The Sound in the Woods Yours!

And celebrate the artistry, imagination, potential and purpose of every child.

Make The Sound in the Woods Yours!

And celebrate the artistry, imagination, potential and purpose of every child.