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Violin/Cello maker
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Mimi Aysha

May 30, 2019 - 11:00 am
Member Since: April 26, 2012
Forum Posts: 382
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Wayne Barak, my first violin maker passed a few weeks ago, I received the news via my teacher while we were at a lesson…

I remembered my first visit when I went to purchase my first "real" violin and I nervously wandered in, armed with my savings and a box of donuts. (I had called earlier and got chatting, he had laughed and said they were super busy but I could pop in early if I brought breakfast)

Not sure what I would find, I just wanted a real violin, I could hear someone playing a cello upstairs. Wayne was super nice and chatty, he gave me a tour of the workshop, which was amazing! It was just him and his son, Nick, who had been playing the cello, I put their coffee pot on, we shared the box of donuts.

We eventually ended up sitting in the air conditioned violin room, surrounded by instruments that I realized were not in my budget, and I will probably never be able to afford, at least in this lifetime! He calmly told me to play whatever I wanted.

I stared at the line-up of bows, already rosined and just waiting for me to select, there were so many! I reached for one of the violins and then I sat there frozen. The only tune I can remember is twinkle - I can’t play twinkle on a violin that costs more than my car! They will hear me, oh gosh what the heck, I have no music book, not that I could really fumble through much, apart from a few basic scales, maybe sad violin or lovers waltz, but I can’t even remember the first notes, I am so embarrassed...I seriously don't think I am ready for a new violin, and I'm so out of my comfort zone.

I am still sitting there frozen when he comes back in. He grabs a violin, sits down and starts playing it like a cello, between his knees, it sounds amazing, I am stunned.

I hear a familiar voice downstairs, my husband! He knew where I was as I’d been excitedly chatting about it for days (well actually weeks!) - honey, came to check up on you (can't imagine why!!!) find anything you like? - I am just wanting to drown my sorrows in another donut!

Wayne starts playing the violins, says it's OK that I am nervous when presented with so many, we listen in awe...they all sound wonderful, then he disappears and comes back and begins to wipe off a slightly dusty one, he plays, I and my hubby smile, thats the one!!!

He explains that it is special, one of the first ones he ever made, the fingerboard is a touch smaller than it should be (not that I could notice) it's been in the shop for years….deep, mellow, gorgeous! It had accidentally got a scratch at some time, but I didn’t care, it sounded awesome. Do you like it? - I couldn’t answer cause I was so choked up…I love it!  

It cost the amount I had on me - although I know my husband lingered and probably paid some more. He gave me a bow, which I also never knew didn’t just come with the violin!…and a case….he gets a label and asks if I want my name on it. I still can't speak!

I visited from time to time, he changed my strings - I took donuts, although he had gotten on a healthy diet and into yoga and was busy, he always managed to squeeze in a donut and chat with me.

So I have a violin with a scratch on it, made by Wayne Barak, not sure if he is a well know luthier, but I'll remember how nice he was to me, and I’ll miss him.

Boca Raton, Florida

May 30, 2019 - 1:17 pm
Member Since: July 8, 2018
Forum Posts: 693
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What an awesome way to remember someone. Thanks for that, @Mimi Aysha.

It's very special to be able to keep that connection through an instrument you love!

Fort Lauderdale
May 30, 2019 - 2:44 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15826

I'm sorry to hear about Waynes passing.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

Advanced member
May 31, 2019 - 11:57 am
Member Since: July 11, 2018
Forum Posts: 95
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That is one of the greatest stories ever. Sorry to hear of his passing. Just from your story, the world would be a much greater place of we had more of him around.

Bragg Creek, Alberta

May 31, 2019 - 4:21 pm
Member Since: March 8, 2015
Forum Posts: 290
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@Mimi Aysha Wonderful story, you are not supposed to make me cry on this forum. :)


May 31, 2019 - 7:35 pm
Member Since: September 30, 2014
Forum Posts: 1442
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Great memories, thank you for sharing.


Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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