July 24, 2006 One glance at a Ted Brewer violin leaves one in no doubt whether he is a maker of traditional musical instruments. He freely acknowledges that with a world of changing possibilities, it is his duty to explore applying new materials, technology, design and his passion for crafting beautiful instruments to explore the future of the violin. Currently Brewer produces three models at his Rotherham, U.K. workshop – the customised individually produced Crossbow (as used by Vanessa Mae (video here)) and Hades and the new Vivo2. Ted handcrafted just 25 instruments a year until massive market demand forced a need to look to greater throughput and he began to explore new production methods for his new vivo2 line, which is now sold by selected stockists. Instead of hand-carving his instruments from acrylic block, he took full advantage of the capabilities of GE Plastics' Lexan Visualfx special effects resin to add some stunning visual impact at the same time as moving to injection molding. The use of mainly transparent (mixed with blue and violet) special effects resin also allowed Brewer Violins to incorporate a special illumination feature: the Vivo2 violin has a built-in sound-to-light capability using two vertical banks of super-bright white LEDs. Light pulses along the length of the instrument to complement the music. The Crossbow can be heard here, the Hades can be heard here, and the Vivo2 can be heard here and here.
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