~The Fiddletree Ensemble~
Otis A. Tomas ~ Stringed Instruments
The instruments pictured in this section were built as a special personal project over a period of several years. The initial stage of the work was helped by a grant from the Nova Scotia Arts Council, whose assistance in this I would like to gratefully acknowledge; the rest of the work was interspersed over several years, as my schedule allowed. The instruments were all all especially designed and built for this project, and they are all made from the two trees that are pictured in the section called "The Woodpile" and varnished with the fir varnish made from the resin collected from the fir trees in the woods around my home (see the essay titled "...On Varnish") These six instruments (violin, viola, 'cello, harp, guitar, and mandolin) were made as a set that would give voice to these trees in a way that would emphasize and respect the local geography that we share, and the unique individuality of the trees from which they are made -- and to pay homage to them in the cycle of life, death, and the redemption of art.
More recently, this project has become the subject of a book and music CD of original compositions. You can learn more about this by clicking on this link:
The Fiddletree (book and CD)
or purchase it from Books and Music page.