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Current time:0:00Total duration:5:47

Violin: Interview and demonstration with concertmaster David Kim

Video transcript

(violin music) - If you look at a violin, it's very much like a human body. It has shoulders and we call this the neck and this, it's not the head but we call it the scroll, it's like a rolled piece of paper scroll. And these are the ribs and the back and a violin is made from kind of the same trees you might see in your backyard as spruce and maple. This one was made in 1757 in Milan, Italy by a man named Guananini and all the men in the Guananini family made violins. And so it's really a work of art. It's amazing that it's so old and yet it's in really good condition. Real healthy and these things are, these are all modern things that we put on here, this is called the tailpiece, that kinda holds the strings in place. This is well, it looks like a bridge and that's what we call it, the bridge. This is a board where we put our fingers so it's called the fingerboard and this where I rest my chin, so we call it a chinrest. (violin music) In violin, we have different positions. The one that's furthest away from me is first position. And then I have second position, third position, fourth position, fifth, sixth, seventh, I go up to about eighth position or so. Now, when I go from one position to the next, I like to think of it like I'm taking an elevator to a different floor. Like at first position, I'm going to the third position, I'll just kinda open the elevator door and go up to third floor and close the door and now I'm in the third floor and then I do whatever I need to do there. Now sometimes, going from the first to the third floor, I wanna be very clean (violin playing) but sometimes, I wanna give it a little style and a little bit of, something a little spicy then I might do what's called a slide in which case, I don't hide anything that's going on as my elevator is going from the first to the third floor. I actually show it to my audience. (violin playing) And so that slide is a very personal thing that violinist's can use to bring the music to life. (orchestra playing) Concertmaster is basically the quarterback of the team. The Head Coach is the same thing as the conductor. They really control everything that's going on but my job as Concertmaster is to kind of read the mind of the conductor, what their wishes are musically and try to transmit that to my colleagues through facial expressions, body motions, maybe the tilt of my head, maybe the way I move the bow. Having a momentary solo passage in a symphony is, well, let me put it you this way. I read an article in a paper recently where they put heart monitors on firemen. And apparently when the time when there is no fire, when they're sitting around playing checkers at the firehouse and eating chili, their heart rate is very low. They're very healthy and strong people. But when they enter the burning house, their heart rate goes dangerously high, bobobobabababababa, and it stays up there until they leave the danger. That's me. I feel that when I see it coming up, I can usually see, I usually circle the place that says solo, my solo in red pencil. So we turn the page in the middle of the piece and I could see it coming up, I can just feel my heart rate start to go faster and faster. And, I basically say three words to myself, Go for it. Go for it, go for it, go for it! And then at that moment when I start playing, I almost screaming it out, I'm screaming it out in my head, go for it! (violin playing)