Federico De Mori
Federico De Mori (from the surname ‘Mori’ of my wife) is my Italian spirit. The instruments that I sign with this name represent the expression of my art in the classical style of Cremona, and are made according to the old traditional methods of this school.
Why a ‘stage name’? I spent many years training myself to assume the gestures and the techniques of an Italian violin maker of the sixteenth century, driven by the conviction that the methods and knowledge of this era were tantamount to crafting instruments of the highest quality. After so much time spent pretending to be an Italian in the Middle Ages, I ended up even wanting to have the name...
I sign with my given name the instruments that I build by following my own personal instincts, while respecting the pillars of the ancient Cremonese method. Antonio Stradivari himself has shown us the way, experimenting and decisively moving away from the established methods and recognised features of the work of Nicolo Amati, his Master, and already the best violin maker of his time.
Having found a consistent and reliable way to produce high quality instruments has also shown me how much creativity and imagination we lose when we focus on the few models that have been copied for the past two centuries.
Therefore, alongside the traditional violin making of FEDERICO DE MORI, I also offer a more modern approach that is dynamic and, dare I say it, innovative (see Ivan, the Crazy Violin).
Violin Emile, 1993
Ivan, the Crazy Violin
People often choose their instruments as they do their fashions:
When buying ‘off the peg’, one can try many instruments in the hope of one day meeting that of their dreams, only then to have to settle for less.
Conversely, while working on a piece that is ‘made to measure’, the result almost always ends up being a copy of a famous ancient instrument.
So why not plan the construction of an instrument like an architect designs a house, discussing directly with the future owner and reaching agreement over personal preferences and desires?
The possibility of designing ‘for the catwalk’, the playground of new, daring and eccentric proposals, was revealed to me upon meeting the violinist-actor, Pietro Mossa, and through the subsequent birth of IVAN, his crazy violin.