When I was 15, my parents bought me a viola. I had been playing on a borrowed instrument before then (and violin before that), so this was a big deal for me. It wasn’t too many years after that that I began to study with a new teacher, who pushed my playing to a new level. He, and the conductor of my youth symphony, and pretty much anyone with ears told me many times that I had outgrown the instrument and needed something better. It was around that time that I made the decision not to pursue music professionally, and it didn’t seem worth the expense to shell out thousands of dollars for an instrument I would only play occasionally.
Fast forward to this past year, and I was once again confronted with the sonic limitations of my old viola when I entered the recording booth. The viola sounded muddy and strangled. It was a battle to coax a steady and pleasant tone out of the old fellow, and there was only so much that production trickery could fix. Ultimately, I needed a new instrument. I began salivating over a carbon fibre instrument made by a New England luthier team called Luis and Clark. Every time I went to Long & McQuade, I’d take a trip upstairs and ask them if I could play it.
Basically, I was Mike Myers in Wayne’s World:
Well I finally bit the bullet and bought the damn thing.
“Apologize” is one of the first tunes I worked into my solo set. It’s got a great hook, and perhaps best of all I can play a pretty decent-sounding version without even touching a guitar. You get to hear my viola as a bass, as a string quartet, and as a high floating descant – all at the same time. I don’t play it live much anymore since moving to the electric viola, but I still have a great affection for this song. Hope you enjoy the cover!