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Fiddler Anne Harris was looking to expand her violin sound from her current 1961 Roth violin, when, while scrolling on Instagram, came across Amanda Ewing – the first Black female luthier on record in the United States. After striking up a new relationship and with the help from GoFundMe, Amanda will make a new instrument for Anne, making it the first violin ever to be commissioned between two African American women.

Their conversation with online editor Davina Shum illustrates the importance of representation, including how Amanda got into lutherie, how Anne communicates her vision to Amanda, as well as how personality of an instrument’s sound lies not only in the wood, but in the hands of the maker. 

Have you ever taken part in commissioning a new instrument? Let us know: email or message us on our socials. We’d love to hear from you!

Photo credit: Mike Belleme, courtesy GoFundMe