The Campanula

The campanula string instruments are newly invented instruments by violin maker Helmut Bleffert. Bleffert was asked to make an instrument in the shape of a plant, and chose to use the campanula (bell flower) as his basic idea. The campanulas are different from normal string instruments because they have a set of resonance strings (I call it a second “floor” of strings).

Personally I play both a campanula viola and a campanula quinton (a five-stringed viola), each with seven resonance strings under the normal ones. The effect of the resonance strings is that the instrument itself has its own small “church”, or own acoustical space - because of these strings, but also because of their special natural form (they have the shape of a campanula flower), these instruments sound especially beautiful outside.

The campanula inspires me to take new directions with music, and with its strong physical effect (through the resonance strings), my body, the space around it and even time feel different.