Magazine article Strings

Changing the Bow World through Superior Cool

Magazine article Strings

Changing the Bow World through Superior Cool

Article excerpt

Rock violinist Mark Wood wants to spice up the orchestra world, one bat-winged bow at a time

"Nobody wants to read about a bow!" proclaims violinist, educator, and manufacturer of electric stringed instruments Mark Wood, who - between gigs with the performance ensembles Mark Wood Experience, the Mark Wood Rock Orchestra, and his instrument company Wood Violins - has become the only board member of American String Teachers Association to regularly wear leather pants.

"Bows are boring - I'd much rather read about Jimi Hendrix's guitar picks," he says.

But Wood is now in the business of designing and selling his own line of bows - not guitar picks used by a rock h' roll legend. And since he's serious about stopping the exodus of young string players to the cooler, hipper world of electric guitars, bass, keyboards, and drums - by one count, some 85 percent of child string players between the ages of eight and 11 will stop playing their instruments by the age of 13 - he's doing the string world a favor by turning his attention to bows.

But only bows with bat-wing-shaped frogs.

Or skulls.

Heavy metal invading the orchestral world? Maybe, but Wood is less interested in invading the classical world than in shaking up the bow-making world with what he claims is its "first breakthrough in 400 years."

In Wood's opinion, most violin bows are little more than "sticks with a piece of horsehair." He doesn't see the aesthetic appeal. "They're perfect structurally, but there needs to be not just a physical feel, but an emotional feel."

Enter the Turbow, a bow with attitude, in your choice of red Texalium or carbon fiber with a frog in the shape of a bat's wing. Wood's designer-bow series will feature designs on the stick, starting with skulls, and colored hair.

Wood is his own most effective pitchman, signing and giving away a Turbow bow at each and every gig - more Hendrix than Itzhak Perlman, which is the whole idea. …

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