The BACH.Bogen is a cunningly constructed curved bow which enables string players to play all four strings at the same time. It looks like this:
...and here's a video of one in action performed by the guy who invented the thing.
This is an awesomely intriguing invention and I need to get my shovel-like hands on one; but where from?
I've emailed numerous musical instrument shops but haven't had any luck so far. Bridgewood and Neitzert (who recently did a wonderful repair job on my viola after I inadvertently tore a large hole in it) said that they're "sadly not aware of any manufacturers for this bow."
During my online search though I did come across a marvellous site called The Viola Workshop and there's a nice little section on the site entitled 'A Brief History of the Viola' which claims that the viola is entering a 'golden age' with its increasing popularity. I'll certainly raise a glass to that wildly optimistic claim!
I'll be documenting my, probably tedious and non-eventful, progress right here. If you know where I could obtain one or know someone that might be able to offer a lead please get in contact.
UPDATE 1: I've just had an email back from Anton Lukoszevieze who's a superb cellist that uses one of these bows. He gave me the email address for the man who invented it; I just tried emailing him and it bounced back as 'failed to be delivered". Maybe he's given up on his creation. The search goes on.
UPDATE 2. Helpful bow maker Howard Ball has got back to me with a few suggestions of people to try. You can see him in action here
UPDATE 3. Tom Blackburn from Blackburn Stringed Instruments said I should try J. P. Guivier and with a name like that I'm expecting him to brandish a bach bow crafted by wizards. Tom also suggested I should Google 'Bach Bogen'... WHY THE HELL DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT? [/sarcasm] He also seems to share the 'londonviolins' domain with Bridgewood with the simple difference of a .com and .co.uk. I imagine they duel with each other regularly on ferocious steeds wielding huge 'cello bows for lances. The prehistoric-wild goose chase continues.
UPDATE 4. I had such high hopes for the awesomely named JP Guivier but he's crashed out with this reply: "We don't sell the Bach Bogen bows. I am afraid I don't know who does" BUT I also received an email from someone who I think is a supplier of these bows so fingers crossed. Maan, this is as viveting as watching Deal or No Deal with weird beard Edmunds.
UPDATE 5. The hunt is over but the dog hasn't caught the fox; the dogs were close but the fox surrounded himself in a diamond encrusted impenetrable box. The cost of one of these bows ranges from £500 to £1500, which isn't that unreasonable but still way out of my range......for now.