COVENTRY Music Museum curator Pete Chambers BEM writes for the Observer.
THE WALK ‘The Godavarius’: Lost and Found and Lost Again?
It’s been a lot of fun and extremely interesting, assisting the very talented Sarah Farmer, in her project ‘The Walk’ which takes place at 12pm on Sunday, October 17, from FarGo Village and ends at The Coventry Music Museum on Ball Hill.
The Walk tells a story of a part of Coventry’s musical history – from Arthur Rowley, TE Dunville, Delia Derbyshire, Sound System culture, Steel Pan competitions, UK Bhangra and Fairport Convention fiddle player Dave Swarbrick.
It is an exploration of sound, music and culture in Coventry. Starting at FarGo Village, the walk will go up Walsgrave Road, past Swan Lane (where the studio of famous Arthur Rowley once stood – the maker of the nicknamed ‘Godivarius’ violins) to the Coventry Music Museum where among other historic musical artefacts, a mysterious violin sits in a cabinet.
As a youngster Arthur Rowley (1880 to 1937) studied in Italy and discovered the secrets of the master violin makers. His tutor was Massenni Galani, whose ancestors worked in Cremona when men like the great Antonio Stradivari were turning out their best works.
The Godivarius (a contraction of Godiva and Stradivarius) were created in Arthur’s workshop originally in Swan Lane and later in Harnall Lane. He was meticulous in the instruments’ creation, actually sanding the wood to an exacting amount, claiming even a tiny bit of over sanding of the wood, could result in a poor tone.
Each violin took some 200 hours to create, and it’s believed he made more than 100 of them in his life.
His creations were played by virtuosos, including Albert Sandler and Fritz Kreisler. A collector in Japan was believed to have bought one many years ago for a considerable amount of money. The violin that sits in the cabinet is indeed Coventry made, but is it a real life Godivarius?
This walk tells a fascinating story of one of many possible histories this violin might have had, exploring the music it may have encountered through using sound, music and performance.
The walk will arrive at the museum in good time to look round before closing, should anyone wish to visit – participation in the walk is free but more details about entry prices and exhibitions at the Cov Music Museum can be found at covmm.co.uk
This event forms part of the University of Warwick’s Resonate festival.
Eaten Alive Fanzine
Just bought a copy of the rather wonderful fanzine Eaten Alive at Just Dropped In at Fargo Village, only to see a full page advert for the music museum, thanks all.
For just £1.50 Issue 62 features: Healthy Junkies, Bug Central Kontaka and Apocalypse Babys plus loads more. All displayed in that classic copy and paste fanzine stylee.
The Prims Homecoming
The mighty Primitives are coming home for a massive gig at the HMV Empire Coventry, on December 17, with The Session, Watermark and Danny Ansell in support. This is going to be selling out fast so grab your tickets straight away from See Tickets and Skiddle.