I am not sure when it began, or even who started calling me that, but the moniker seem to fit. “The Cello Whisperer”. I guess working at a violin shop and being a cellist, it makes sense. But how it came to pass that people would bring me there poor and ailing cellos and say, “Please fix him for me!” is still a bit of a mystery.
Wolfs, buzzes, openings, stuffiness, brightness, and a myriad of other concerns became part of my daily lexicon. Working with our fine luthiers here, we prod, explore, say some secret incantations and do what we can to cure the cello’s ills. (I am not serious about the secret incantations…. or am I?)
While it isn’t magic, it kinda is. “If you meet the cello Buddha along the side of the road, kill the Buddha.” So when I hear those prognosticators say things like: “Every cello needs a _____ ” or, “You should always use ______ to make your cello sound better.” Or any of the other thousands of things that “they” say about cellos, I just listen and play. Each cello responds to each person, each situation, each nuance, each change, in unique and interesting ways. So what works on one cello and for one cellist, may not (and probably will not) work for the next.
So I have become the Cello Whisperer. Listening, coaxing, pleading, cajoling cellos to behave and perform their best.