Here’s my violin.  I love it.  It was made in 2006 by Sebastian Maria, who works at Viseltear Violins on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.  Buy local.



This is the fiddle I grew up playing.  Last year I restrung it with Baritone Fiddle strings, and I use it mostly for recordings now.  It covers a range roughly between a viola and cello (strings are F-C-G-D, M9 down from standard violin).



I got this rabeca on my first trip to Recife, Brazil.  You can hear me play it on all the Nation Beat records.  It has a rustic keening tone that lacks the thickness of a violin which allows it to sit in a mix more gently.  Sounds really good doubled on a track.



I got this kemance in Istanbul.  Its goat-skin top and  orb-shaped body give it a light, haunting tone.  Tuned like a western violin or to any of various open tunings (G-D-G-D, A-D-A-D, etc) works on record as a suitable analogue for skin-topped fiddles of West Africa, India, or the Middle East.


My Mandolin is nothing to write your uncle Mike about, but it’s got a sweet tone.  I am particularly fond of finger-picking on it.


Guitars are cool.


  • photo by Sebnem Tasci
  • Sign up for Skye's Newsletter and receive updates on upcoming shows, album releases, and new projects.