Traditional hardanger fiddle making with Adam Edwards

29 Jul 2022

After serving six years in the Navy as a clearance Diver Adam Edwards had a creative side that he wanted to discover. A chance meeting with a violin maker at the Sydney Woodworking Show opened the door to the wonderful world of instrument making. Predominately self taught, he has spent many years discovering the lost art of violin making, taking the time to really understand what makes that little box sing.

Living in Tasmania has given Adam the opportunity to experiment with native timbers as well as the traditional European spruce and maple. In 2011 whilst attending the National Folk Festival in Canberra Adam saw for the very first time a Hardanger fiddle being played. Completely fascinated and in awe of such an enchanting instrument he set out to make one himself using Tasmania’s finest timbers.

In 2013, Adam was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study advanced fiddle making techniques specific to Norway’s National folk instrument the Hardanger fiddle, famous for its haunting sound and resonant sympathetic strings. Salve Hakedal is considered to be one of Norway’s finest makers, Salve and Adam shared a workbench for several weeks in a Master/Apprentice relationship, taking the time to discuss the approach to building great instruments. During his time away Adam also made several side trips to visit instrument museums in Vienna, Prague and Oxford.

Since returning Adam has endeavoured to continue his commitment to share his knowledge and understanding with the music community.

Violin soloist Ian Cooper has recently played Adam’s Hardanger fiddle in the soundtracks for the Australian film RAMS.

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