Reinventing The Viola (And Isn’t It About Time?)

An instrument that resembles a Dalí-inspired melted viola is causing such excitement that there is a two-year waiting-list. Although the body is spruce and maple, the traditional ebony fingerboard is replaced by Formica to give it a lighter weight. Its eccentric shape also reduces the strain of arm and wrist stretching. The instrument, whose $12,000 (£7,300) cost is comparable to that of a normal viola, was made in America, at the Oregon workshop of David Rivinus. ‘The only thing sacrificed is visual symmetry. Does the shape change do anything to the sound? No’.”