The Ergonomic Edge to Playing!
As an active concert artist and Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at Carnegie Mellon University, violinist Cyrus Forough made a career-long quest to discover the ideal and comfortable means of playing the violin. For years, he tried almost every shoulder rest available and even spent a period of time playing without one. It’s not only a matter of comfort, of course. Violin positioning, while either standing or sitting, provides a most unnatural situation for the head, neck, back, and shoulders.
The ideal shoulder rest should support the instrument and relieve tension while filling up space between your chin and shoulder. It should provide an anatomical union so as to make playing feel comfortable and natural. How to create this perfect shoulder rest brought about the collaboration between Forough and acclaimed master luthiers and brothers Shahram and Saeid Rezvani. After some years of discussion and experimentation, while gathering technical expertise involving production and materials, there emerged the most perfect shoulder rest – the Performa!
Using only the highest quality of materials, each Performa features a wider surface area to distribute the instrument’s weight and player’s pressure evenly on the shoulder just as when one plays without a shoulder rest. Its patented design provides comfort never before experienced, resulting in a miraculous relief from tension and pain.
The Performa Shoulder Rest is completely customizable. It includes three feet that are different heights to be adjusted to the desired height. One is 11mm in length, one is 17mm, and one is 25mm. When when the two shorter feet are at their lowest settings, Performa becomes the lowest shoulder rest – as if one is playing without one. The tall 25mm foot is for those who require an even higher elevation on one or both sides. All three are available for purchase separately. The soft foam pad that comes on the shoulder rest is 2mm in thickness. However, if you desire something thicker, simply swap out the pad for the 5mm option that is included with every Performa. (The pad is reusable)
The remaining challenge to completing the task lay in the development of perfect feet for the Performa. The design, material selection, and gripping integrity were critical requirements. The inventors would seek out a soft rubber compound that would not damage the varnish, provide a strong grip so as to stay in place and provide minimal contact so that there be no muffling of the sound.
The Performa is an exciting choice for any player, and most especially one who currently does not use a shoulder rest but would like to. Playing will feel more organic while the head, neck, arms, and hands find restrictions and discomfort eliminated. As Cyrus Forough says: “Never fight gravity when you play. If you do, you will lose”. The Performa Shoulder Rest allows violin playing to feel more organic. Performa allows the head, neck, arms, and hands to function without restrictions and discomfort when placed properly on the instrument.