An American Violin After Guarneri by Jordan Hess, 2019
Violin maker, Jordan Hess is originally from a small farm in east central Indiana, where he first began making instruments at the age of nine. By fifteen, he was working as an apprentice at Indianapolis Violins, an opportunity he enjoyed for three years before attending The Violin Making School of America. Jordan has since worked for Salt Lake City based luthier John Young, and is currently making his own violins based on traditional Cremonese working methods, creating instruments with exceptional tonal qualities and playability. He primarily focuses on crafting modern instruments, concentrating on personal models, and bench copies inspired by specific instruments and makers.
This Violin from early 2019 is one of such inspiration, patterned after Guarneri Del Gesu, and antiqued in typical Hess fashion. It represents a personal style that is at once both rugged and elegant, highly reminiscent of Otto Erdesz, yet unique in its own right, from crazed craquelure to meticulous shading and intentional tool marks, simply every detail touches on artistry.
There is a certain sweetness and modularity to the sound of Hess violins, which when paired with their exceptional clarity creates a winning combination and lends a tonal palate that would suit any serious artist. This violin is no exception, and is remarkably responsive to even the slightest guidance, with a harder, almost guttural lower end.