Behold Mystical Photographs Taken Inside a Cello, Double Bass & Other Instruments

“If God had designed the orches­tra,” remarks a char­ac­ter in Rick Moody’s Hotels of North Amer­i­ca, “then the cel­lo was His great­est accom­plish­ment.” I couldn’t agree more. The cel­lo sounds sub­lime, looks state­ly… even the word cel­lo evokes regal poise and grace. If orches­tral instru­ments were chess pieces, the cel­lo would be queen: shape­ly and dig­ni­fied, prime mover on the board, majes­tic in sym­phonies, quar­tets, cham­ber pop ensem­bles, post rock bands….

With all its many son­ic and aes­thet­ic charms, I didn’t imag­ine it was pos­si­ble to love the cel­lo more. Then I saw Roman­ian artist Adri­an Bor­da’s mag­nif­i­cent pho­tos tak­en from inside one. The pho­to above, Bor­da tells us at his Deviant Art page, was tak­en from inside “a very old French cel­lo made in Napoleon’s times.” It looks like the bel­ly of the HMS Vic­to­ry mat­ed with the nave of Chartres Cathe­dral. The light descend­ing through the f‑holes seems of some divine ori­gin.

Bor­da has also tak­en pho­tos from inside an old dou­ble bass (above), as well as a gui­tar, sax, and piano. The stringed orches­tral instru­ments, he says, yield­ed the best results. He was first inspired by a 2009 ad cam­paign for the Berlin­er Phil­har­moniker that “cap­tured the insides of instru­ments,” writes Twist­ed Sifter, “reveal­ing the hid­den land­scapes with­in.” With­out any sense of how the art direc­tor cre­at­ed the images, Bor­da set about exper­i­ment­ing with meth­ods of his own.

He was lucky enough to have a luthi­er friend who had a con­tra­bass open for repairs. Lat­er he trav­eled to Amiens, where he found the French cel­lo, also open. “To achieve these shots,” Twist­ed Sifter notes, “Bor­da fit a Sony NEX‑6 cam­era equipped with a Samyang 8mm fish­eye lens inside the instru­ment and then used a smart remote so he could pre­view the work­flow on his phone.” Depend­ing on the angle and the play of light with­in the instru­ment, the pho­tos can look eerie, somber, omi­nous, or angelic—mirroring the cello’s expres­sive range.

Bor­da gives the cel­lo inte­ri­or shot above the per­fect title “A Long, Lone­ly Time….” Its play of smoke and light is ghost­ly noir. His pho­to below, of the inside of a sax­o­phone, pulls us into a haunt­ed, alien tun­nel. If you want to know what’s on the oth­er side, con­sid­er the strange sur­re­al­ist worlds of Borda’s main gig as a sur­re­al­ist painter of warped fan­tasies and night­mares. Unlike these pho­tos, his paint­ings are full of lurid, vio­lent col­or, but they are also filled with mys­te­ri­ous musi­cal motifs. See more of Bor­da’s inte­ri­or instru­ment pho­tos at Deviant Art and Twister Sifter.

via Twist­ed Sifter

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch a Luthi­er Birth a Cel­lo in This Hyp­not­ic Doc­u­men­tary

Why Vio­lins Have F‑Holes: The Sci­ence & His­to­ry of a Remark­able Renais­sance Design

Nine Tips from Bill Mur­ray & Cel­list Jan Vogler on How to Study Intense­ly and Opti­mize Your Learn­ing

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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