Foto: Jorma Müller
The tests are carried out with a total of four violins. One of them is a masterpiece by Guarneri (1698-1744). The other three violins are replicas and were made entirely or partly of wood by Swiss and French violin makers, which was treated with the pathogen of white rot Physisporinus vitreus. The original violins and their replicas have been copied down to the smallest detail. Even the scratches and traces of use in the wood are indistinguishable.
Only Dr. Zemp knows which violin is the antique treasure and which is a copy. However, the employees are not informed about the correct assignment. This should help with the objectivity of the assessment in the tests.
A whole year now takes up the systematically measurement of sound by means of sound velocity, sound attenuation and density. Ultrasonic experts develop methods to prove in which areas the rot fungus was active and where not. Professionals in optical measurement techniques use methods that can be used to image how different tone woods and even entire instruments emit acoustically.
For another year, the Empa team will work together with test persons from the relevant psychoacoustic expert groups to understand how violinists and listeners perceive and experience the music of a fungi violin. If the fungi violin passes the tests with flying colours, nothing will stand in the way of a musical future for MycoWood.