The Phoenix 6-string Violin

After first seeing the Bahamut guitar I built for Wang Leehom, Dennis Lau got in touch with me with the idea to build a custom electric violin that could rival the stage presence of the Chinese dragon-shaped electric guitar.
It was a great idea, but this would be my first ever violin. It took six years of discussions and persuasions before I finally gave in and agreed to build The Phoenix.
I had been holding the idea of a violin that would wrap around your body for support, so I suggested making a Phoenix and Dennis agreed that it was a perfect symbol to represent his music and his journey and rebirth as a musician.
We spent a few months discussing the design and then Dennis travelled all the way from Malaysia to Ireland to have the violin fitted to his body. It was more like tailoring a suit than building an instrument.
The Phoenix was hand-carved and moulded in carbon fibre to make it very strong and light and to give it a true skin of fire we gilded it with 23K Gold.
On completion I flew to Malaysia to deliver it in person and then a couple of months later my wife Kim and I made yet another trip to Malaysia for the unveiling of the violin at The Phoenix Rising Concert.
This project has been one of the most rewarding commissions of my career. From meeting new people and traveling to new places, to being given the opportunity to stretch my creative abilities to a new level. Thank you Dennis for giving me this opportunity.

  • CLIENT Dennis Lau
  • TAGS


Configuration: 6string electric violin
Tuning: F-C-G-D-A-E
Construction: Moulded and hand-carved carbon fibre body and neck
Colour: Gilded in 23K Gold
Tuners: Schertler 18:1 ratio guitar tuners
Pickup: Barbera custom bridge pickup
Eyes: Peridot gem stones with colour changing LEDs
Case: Custom carbon fibre case
Display stand: Carbon fibre pyramid stand with built-in turntable

Alistair's working processin 3 steps

Alistair takes on a number of Custom Design projects a year. If you checked out our Emerald Custom Shop and couldn't find the options you were looking for and have something very special in mind, send Alistair a query!

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