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Marcel St-CyrMarcel Saint-Cyr

"Finding a mute which creates such a warm sound is really wonderful. Finely crafted, the mute allows the musician to change the sound by varying the depth of the mute on the bridge. As a musician for whom the color and quality of the sound are of the greatest importance, I am thrilled with your mutes."

LYNN HARRELL, soloist and formerly first cello of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra; cello professor at Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, Houston Texas.


"What a beautiful tone, the pleasure of playing with a mute."

BRUNO GIURANNA, internationally renowned viola soloist and pedagogue


"I really loved the sound, as well as the projection; I found that the instrument carried much better than with other mutes, while still having a beautiful "muted" sound."un beau son

JAMES EHNES, concert violinist


"My leather mute from Marcel is the most wonderful sounding mute I have ever heard; warm and clear but
still projecting perfectly. I wouldn't trust my Mahler 1 solo with any other!"

JOEL QUARRINGTON, soloist and first chair in the NAC Orchestra of Ottawa (Canada)


"[Our] string quartet just recorded Hindemith's 3rd quartet with a set of your leather mutes ... and our instruments sounded fantastic!"

Masumi Rostad, for the PACIFICA QUARTET


"I bought a "quartet set" of mutes which I pack with my recording equipment and offer to string players for use during recording sessions. I (and they) love the sound - muted but alive."

JUDITH SHERMAN, free lance recording producer and engineer (winner of 2 Grammy Awards)


"What I am most impressed with is that each mute produces a different sound color on the violin. I am so grateful that you are making such a beautiful hand-made product."

KARL KAWAHARA, freelance violinist in NYC


"Congratulations! When I received my new leather mute, I immediately tried it playing "La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin" and suddenly it became "La Femme aux Cheveux de Lin". If a mute could be considered sexy, yours is it! There's no comparison with the synthetic alternatives. Thank you!"

GARY KOSLOSKI, pedagogue and freelance violinist in New York


"I was thrilled to discover the leather mute by Marcel Saint-Cyr. It accesses a palette of subtle colors without interfering with the core of the sound. I am able to store the leather mute conveniently on the c-string in the peg box of my viola for easy use."

STEVEN WYRCZYNSKI, viola professor at the Peabody Conservatory, member of the Philadelphia Orchestra


"I love this mute - I'm now able to get the perfect sound, and I'm so excited to pass on the info to other colleagues of mine."

ANN ROGGEN, vice president of the NEW YORK VIOLA SOCIETY, member of the Orchestra of St. Luke's, NYC


"Dear Mr Saint-Cyr,I play viola in the Cologne-based Signum Quartet, and wanted to echo the praise for your mutes. We've been playing the Ravel Quartet a lot recently, and after having tried most commercially available mutes (all to great dissatisfaction...) I was delighted (and relieved!) with your mute. No loss of sound or sensitivity, and the tonal palette and ability to project still in tact. A great pleasure to be able to play the (fairly crucial) Ravel soli without feeling as if the instrument has a bad case of laryngitis...Warm regards"

, violist in the Cologne-based Sigmund String Quartet


"The leather mute (for violin) sounds wonderful! It really has its own soul"

PAUL PRIMUS, violinist soloist, concertmaster (Colorado Symphony) and chamber musician (Lozano Quartet and Colorado Chamber Players).

I was fortunate enough to find a leather mute in Germany (Karlsruhe) in 1961. This marvelous mute, which I still have, is the one which I enjoyed using during my many years as 'cellist of Canada's Orford Quartet.

It was not until the 1980's that I realized that this kind of mute (in leather) was no longer available from the string supply shops. Besides wooden mutes, the only mutes available were made from rubber or synthetic materials. During this period I devised the idea of making leather mutes myself: I was teaching chamber music at McGill University in Montreal, and had many pupils who needed better mutes.

Of course, it took me some time to find a good quality of leather, a leather with the correct thickness and of the appropriate density. It was also necessary to find a strong enough glue and to discover a way of manufacturing "rivets" which I often use for the cello and bass mutes. It was not as obvious as it may seem ... In addition, I had to locate the tools to cut the leather properly. However, after much experimenting, I managed to produce mutes which sound far better than those which are of synthetic origin.

I began by producing mutes for cello, (nobility obliges...), but I now manufacture mutes for all the instruments of the violin family, including mutes for the double bass. The success obtained is remarkable. All the instrumentalists who test my mutes are unanimous: these mutes create a different sonority, more noble and velvety, without ever sounding nasal or choking the sound. Many artists throughout Europe and North America are currently using my mutes - numerous string quartet members play them with great pleasure, and several soloists have been astonished to hear the color which my leather mutes add to their performances ... as have their audiences!

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