More than a year passed and I kept thinking about this wonderful musical instrument. And then it hit me: I would ask Peter Biffin to make me a Tarhu that is a Cello too. Peter saw this as a special challenge since it had never been done before.
Indeed, the challenge proved to be a serious one. Usually, it takes Peter three months to complete an instrument. Making the Cello-Tarhu took him a full year.
But the result was simply amazing. Though I had ordered what is a relatively small Cello (I was thinking in terms of portability too), the instrument is large, giving it additional resonance and making it an especially unique instrument even within the Tarhu family.
For me, it is simply a love story. The instrument requires deep exploration and a radical change of habits compared to a Cello. Due to the unusual structure of the bridge, one cannot play it strong. The limitation opens up a whole world of possibility: the enormous range of soft sounds, part of which turn out to be strangle powerful in spite of the soft way they’re produced or maybe precisely because of that. On the whole, the variety of shades offered by the instrument is simply endless.
The sound flows so smoothly that one feels as if the Chel-Hu plays of its own accord and the tunes simply gush forth. For the first time in my life, I have an experience of niggun as described in the Hassidic tales who tells us that the tune of the niggun is up there and is just released and reaches us by way of the instrument.