Wolf Kater :: Custom made musical instruments Wolf Kater :: Custom made musical instruments
Wolf Kater :: Custom made musical instruments
My Design Philosophy

We are all on a voyage of discovery—the performer, composer, instrument and audience. When the karma is right, wonderful celestial magic is made. My role as an instrument maker is to maximize the personality of the instrument so it is capable, as one of the voices if not also inspiration, of reflecting the creative dynamic of its music.

"Good Grief!" I can hear you say. "What does all that mean?"

A wooden string instrument is an assemblage of parts that are selected, cut and processed to create the final product. The intent of this process becomes critical in the building dynamic; a production environment has as its primary intent the cost-effectiveness and volume of the system; really fine instruments tend to be highly sought-after happy accidents.

Refined, creative musicianship requires an instrument that is built with these parameters in mind, obviously not conducive to a production system. The early dynamic is a "duet" between me the builder and you, the client. Both inputs are equally important. The instrument starts to evolve from a musical concept or "tonbild", often based on previous or existing instruments, evolving to a drawing that defines geometric parameters and kicking off the building sequence through selection of woods and their physical manipulation. The actual building method is highly sensitive to allowing each instrument to emerge as an individual personality—a minimum use of moulds and jigs, and when applied, with a maximum degree of flexibility. The "black magic" aspects of tuning and thinning the wood is treated as a musical performance—almost totally intuitive where I the builder become the voice-pipe for you, the client and the instrument itself. After that the magic starts...