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‘THE SOUL OF A VIOLIN’ narrates the unique challenge set by Ramón Bilbao and directed by Max Lemcke with the participation of the violinist Ara Malikian

Madrid, 26 October 2017 – This evening will take place the presentation of the documentary “The Soul of a Violin”, a project implemented by the winery Ramón Bilbao and directed by Max Lemcke with the participation of Ara Malikian.

This project was launched as a result of the nonconformist spirit of the Ramón Bilbao Winery and brings together, in the performance, profiles of musicians and professionals from different spheres united by one common characteristic: the aim to innovate. The documentary presents the challenge to make a violin from a Ramón Bilbao wine barrel set to Fernando Solar, a renowned third generation violin-maker.

The interest behind the project comes from research into a second life for a wine barrel in the world of music, using a material as complex and interesting as the French oak used in the winery’s wine-ageing process: “Taking the wood from a barrel to make a musical instrument as sensitive and delicate as the violin is a very difficult challenge” observes Max Lemcke, in his introductory speech.

Fernando Solar, born among violins and a young innovative music talent, is not new to this type of challenge: in the past he has made musical instruments almost completely from recycled materials such as soft drink cans. Despite this, Fernando has highlighted the complexity of this project due to the fact that, as he himself states, “traditionally violins are made from maple or spruce whereas oak is a much harder wood. However, this is not any oak but oak which has been working hard to pass on its essence to a Ramón Bilbao wine and has become impregnated with the unmistakable aromas which accompanied me throughout this violin-making process”.
It took Fernando two months to make this unique one-off instrument.

Nevertheless, the aim was not just to make a violin but to make an instrument with good sound quality. To guarantee the thoroughness of the procedure and to ensure a positive outcome, the instrument travelled to the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, to the department specializing in testing the quality of musical instruments, where Europe-wide scientific testing and research was conducted and the instrument was played not only by reputed violinists from the Teatro Real in Madrid but also by Ara Malikian himself.

The results achieved in the different analyses are of great interest: considering the complexity of the raw material and in blind-testing against violins made from traditional materials, the sound of the instrument was classified as good quality in the different studies. Ara Malikian particularly appreciates the uniqueness and good sound of this singular violin, stating that it is like “smelling music”.

The documentary, which blends innovation with art in seemingly very different worlds such as wine and music, is for Ramón Bilbao a milestone marking the start of a new project in the sphere of corporate social responsibility. With the “The Soul of Ramón Bilbao”, the firm is to implement different actions in support of social causes in the medium- to long-term: “the wine contained in the barrel which we used to make the violin will be sold in 2018 and the proceeds are to be donated to social causes. We feel that it is our duty to give back to the community some of the many things it has given us” states Rodolfo Bastida, CEO and enologist at the winery.

To download the trailer click here:
To download the photos from the event click here:

Press room