Fiolinmaker og Campanula-cellist
Helmut Bleffert (born 1951) started his private musical studies with the flute in 1970. At that time, he already started experimenting with playing his flute in conversation with nature and water. By 1973, after dropping out of apprenticeships as mechanical engineer and draftsman, he took up studying painting at the academy of arts, Düsseldorf. This is where art and music started to blend into each other, as he spent many hours playing the flute at the academy.
Until today this mixture is characteristic for his paintings as well as for his instruments; they are tone colours and colour-tones! Just by being playful, new Paintings and Soundscapes evolve. Out of curiosity he experimented with tone, which is why he likes to call himself a creator of sounds, and that’s what until today still leads him to develop new instruments. Shortly before Bleffert started attending the academy in Düsseldorf, he built his first instrument - a replica of an indian sarangi.
In 1978, while traveling to Sweden with his brother, they stopped overnight in Evienhausen, a small town near Bramsche in the north of Germany. The owner of a local shop for celtic instruments was coincidentally looking for a successor. Bleffert took on the challenge without much hesitation and found himself building celtig crwths (also known as chrotta, hrotta, crowd) for anthroposophic music-therapists. That's when he also started taking cello lessons and how he found his calling; a self-educated start into instrument crafting. In 1980 he moved back to Winterscheid, where he has lived and worked since. From that day on he has employed himself with classical Cellos, Violins, Violas, in a manner of developing each model from within himself. This is how he gained skills in crafting, step by step.
During the last 27 years many new instruments came into being. Some evolved out of therapeutic or pedagogic interests, gained from and offered by various surrounding practitioners, like the “Wichtelgeige” (crudely translated: Imp`s Violin), chrowd, bowed-psalter and others. The Campanula surely counts as one of his most important developments. It was based on the task to develop an instrument following the outlines of a plant. Between Blefferts work in the shop, he is still drawn to his paintings. Just like crafting instruments, it has become an essential part of his life, his being and expression of the music within himself.