Why the hell is your viola named after Steve Perry?

Steve Perry

Technically speaking, Perry has a viola-shaped voice: a clear, ringing upper end with a smokey, dark “belt” on the low end that keeps it from being piercing or pungent. Reproducing that sound is a big part of what I’m ultimately after. But there are other reasons:

1) It’s drop-dead beautiful on an almost absurd level, and paradoxically also a little peculiar looking. Strangeness in the proportion, indeed.

2) It sounds like Heaven on Earth when it’s tickled properly.

3) Its concept of being tickled properly has about a quarter-millimeter of tolerance. Either side of that unreasonably narrow window of tolerance, it starts screeching like an outraged squirrel monkey and makes some very unmusical noises.


4) It demands all of your attention. All of it. NOW.

5) It can be godawful frustrating to the point where you want to choke it.

6) The rewards it can give nevertheless always manage to convince you that you’ll put up with the attention-hogging and frustration again, just this once.