Aaron J. Brown and his colleagues at the Chicago School of Violin Making have begun an exciting new bass construction project that we’ll be documenting here at doublebassblog.org.
Aaron is working on producing a copy of Chicago Symphony bassist Dan Armstrong’s 1731 Camillo Camilli double bass. Here’s a shot of Dan at the Chicago School of Violin Making (CSVM) with this wonderful bass. You can watch a video of Dan performing with the award-winning Jason Seed Elixir Ensemble here:
Dan outlines some of the specific characteristics of this bass for the CSVM team:
Aaron mentions that the tuning machines on Dan’s Camilli are the same ones on Aaron’s own 1901 Hawkes Panormo.
The CSVM takes measurements of Dan’s bass in preparation for the replication process:
Here are some shots from the actual bass-building project. Aaron is getting the CSVM "Camillo Camilli" (they’re calling it Hoss in the shop) maple plate ready for joining in the following photos:
Andy Brittle (another bassist and CSVM classmate) assists Aaron on the bass-building project. The maple they are using is Big Leaf Maple from somewhere is the United States Pacific Northwest.
Chris Threlkeld-Weigand of the Heartland String Bass Shop in Iowa City will be helping the team with any problems during the project. I’m a real fan of Chris’ work, having put together two videos about Chris’ basses recently (one shows a bass he’s made, and one features my comments about his most recent instrument).
Here’s a photo of Chris playing on his most recent bass, which was designed to fit in a coach seat on an airplane.
Stay tuned for more updates on this project in the near future!