Dlugolecki Viola d’Amore Strings
Damian Dlugolecki enjoys an international reputation as a designer and craftsman of the highest quality gut strings for renaissance, baroque, classical and modern performance. His innovative designs are based on historical practices and methods and are sought after by many prominent artists. Included in his String Catalogue is a complete selection of gut strings for the violin, viola, cello and for the viola da gamba. Also available are custom made strings for double bass and violone and for all bowed stringed instruments.
“I don’t view strings as an accessory. A bowed instrument is in essence, an amplifier of strings. And the material with which the string is made determines more than any other factor, the colour and timbre of the sound. The vibration of the string produces the sound and this sound is enhanced and amplified by the instrument.
What I’m committed to is a quality of sound, and a belief that these instruments, having been designed for gut strings initially; sound best when they adhere to this tradition to some extent. The notion of progress here is an illusion. There is no progress without some consequent sacrifice of value. This is as true in the string art as it is in many areas of life.”
— “Modern Gut Strings” an interview with Damian Dlugolecki, STRINGS magazine, August 1991.
About Damian Dlugolecki’s Strings
The gut and varnished gut strings embody an advanced string design providing an optimal balance between quickness of response and overall strength. We refer to this at times as graduated twist. Over the past year or so we have endeavoured to take this further; to make a violin e” string that would be a pleasure to play and not a struggle. This project arose out of my study of baroque violin set up. I wanted to evolve the process of making gut strings, not simply to accept the formulas passed down to me, but to use the principles of science as well as tradition to advance my grasp of the art. I thought of this project as an effort to facilitate the experience of the improvising soloist in the spirit of the musical indication ‘a piacere.’ Through many trials with small batches of strings we found our way and finally achieved what we set out to accomplish not only for the e” string but for all of our strings. We know you will find these strings a pleasure to play.
The varnish process we use is particularly beneficial for the high tension strings, which are generally the higher pitched strings of an instrument. In addition to being under the most tension, they are played more than the others. Essentially, the normal wear caused by moisture from the left hand is slowed somewhat by the varnish coating. The response of a varnished chanterelle suffers almost not at all, compared with the thicker strings where the response can be slightly impeded by the varnish.
The wound strings continue to be made with traditional materials; gut, silk and various wires. Many of the patterns are inspired by careful study of old strings in my collection. These older string styles have been largely abandoned in favour of patterns dictated by the synthetic materials in use today. Though I look backwards in time for inspiration, the strings made in this shop benefit from tightly controlled machine driven processes where consistency of quality is assured.