The violin-making world is a small one and often resembles a family tree. So many of us are connected through business, friendship and family ties, and the stories of how we come to know each other tend to read like a genealogical history. For us, a chance meeting with a wonderful German violin maker started on a rainy day in Olympia, Washington. Through the following years, our friendship moved to the dry desert heat and brown adobe buildings of Santa Fe, New Mexico, before landing back where it all started in Mittenwald, Germany. In the beginning, we knew Georg Albeck as an extraordinary restorer…. someone that we trusted with our most delicate, intricate work. Later, we came to know him as a maker with a depth of talent and an ear for beautiful sound. This is one of his violas. If you hold it close, you can smell the rain and the desert, and hear the laughter and music of years of friendship.