Instrument making and lifelong passion

Three short documentaries on instrument making and repair were posted over the last few months on Vimeo and YouTube.

La Mer de Pianos introduces Marc Manceaux, the owner of a piano repair workshop in Paris who specialises in sourcing or making spare parts for new, old or antique pianos.  Although he works in a specialised niche where business is getting quieter every year, Marc Manceaux exudes a lifelong passion for his trade which he equates to a form of freedom (“I hope I can continue to be free, staying here as a free man until the end”).


La Mer de Pianos from Films & Things on Vimeo.


Sam Zygmuntowicz is a violin maker based in Brooklyn, New York and has been working with violins since he was thirteen.  While his main objective is to craft beautiful instruments, part of his job also consists in making adjustments over time to the instruments he made in partnership with musicians since violins are “dynamic objects” and “almost become like a living thing”.
The Music Makers explores the skills of four traditional instrument makers all based in County Mayo on the west coast of Ireland, namely uilleann pipe maker John Butler, mandolin and guitar maker Brian Lofthouse,  violin maker Graham Wright and bow maker Gary Leahy.  What emerges here too is not only the skills and creativity involved but also the close relationship with the musicians playing those instruments.



In one of his recent TED talks, Sir Ken Robinson spoke eloquently about the importance of passion:

I meet all kinds of people who don’t enjoy what they do.  They simply go through their lives getting on with it.  They get no great pleasure from what they do.  They endure it rather than enjoy it and wait for the weekend.  But I also meet people who love what they do and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.  If you said to them, “Don’t do this anymore,” they’d wonder what you were talking about.  Because it isn’t what they do, it’s who they are. They say, “But this is me, you know.  It would be foolish for me to abandon this, because it speaks to my most authentic self.”
[…]
It’s about passion, and what excites our spirit and our energy.  And if you’re doing the thing that you love to do, that you’re good at, time takes a different course entirely.  […] if you’re doing something you love, an hour feels like five minutes. If you’re doing something that doesn’t resonate with your spirit, five minutes feels like an hour.

These three short documentaries illustrate this perfectly.
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