Andrius Alčiauskas, Andrius Mamontovas, Daily Mail, Damien Gayle, editing studio, Eimantas Belickas, electric violin, Giedrius Jurkonis, hair, Ieva Sereikytė, Kęstutis Kurienius, Linas Justice, logo, London, popular music, rock and roll, spider silk, Street Musician's Day, super glue, Tadas Maksimovas, Vilnius, violin
When Tadas Maksimovas decided to part with his waist-length hair, he knew that he wanted to do something out of the ordinary with it. After growing it a decade and becoming quite attached to his impressive mane, he felt it would be a shame to simply cut it off and throw it away. So instead he came up with the idea of giving it new life. He had it in painstakingly twisted and glued into tight fibrous strands, then used to string a violin.
Mr. Maksimovas has unveiled a video showing the violin being played, with his head still attached to its “strings,” to promote the annual Street Musician’s Day in Lithuania. “I knew that bows are made using horse hair. I’ve also seen spider web string made by a Japanese professor, but I’ve never seen anyone actually replace the strings with human hair . . . especially while still attached to someone’s head,” said Mr. Maksimovas. Still, it took the Lithuanian-born artist two years to turn his idea into a complete video piece. He had difficulty finding anyone who would agree to help him make the violin strings, with several branding him “crazy.”
Despite others’ reluctance, Mr. Maksimovas persevered with his idea. “One day I got frustrated and called one of the best Lithuanian violin players, Eimantas Belickas, and said, ‘Hey man, I got this idea,'” he said. “I was thinking, if he won’t help me make it, I will drop the idea of hair violin . . . but he loved it!” Once Mr. Belickas was on board, Mr. Maksimovas flew from London to Vilnius to plan the project.
To test out the idea, the pair first bought some hair extensions and made samples of the strings. “We called our friend Giedrius Jurkonis who got studio space with a nice looking metal covered wall, and he filmed it for us, too,” said Mr. Maksimovas. Kęstutis Kurienius, Ieva Sereikytė, Andrius Alčiauskas and Linas Justice also all helped to make Mr. Maksimovas’s idea a reality. The team used super glue to make Mr. Maksimovas’s hair strings harder and more solid. An electric violin was chosen so they could record the sound directly. “Everyone was so into the idea that they agreed to work for free.”
Mr. Maksimovas wanted to unveil the video of his “hair music” project at the Street Musician’s Day to promote the event. He pitched the idea to Lithuanian rock superstar Andrius Mamontovas, but at first he declined. “Undeterred, we thought, ‘Let’s make it, show him and see what he thinks,'” said Mr. Maksimovas. “So we sat down in the editing studio, made the video, put the logos of the event on it and sent it to Andrius anyway. He loved it, and a few days later we were online.”