“Since last summer, the Instagram account @violintorture has offered a riposte to the centuries-old craft of violin-making, or lutherie,” writes Jennifer Gersten in Friday’s (6/2) New Yorker. ‘Can you still play a violin after cutting it up?’ the account’s creator, Tyler Thackray, asked before sawing an instrument into thirds, to celebrate his ten thousandth follower. (The answer, somehow, is yes.) The basement of Thackray’s home in San Francisco, which he calls his ‘dungeon,’ is filled with a pullulating population of misfit instruments, cobbled together from cheap violins that he acquires online…. A violinist myself, I shuddered through a video in which a violin seems to writhe as Thackray saws off its scroll. Was this possibly an issue for the local A.S.P.C.A.?… Thackray has only respect for skilled luthiers and will readily admit that he is not one…. The @violintorture account is less about innovating within the bounds of the violin than it is about rocketing out of bounds: gutting instruments and then ramming their parts together to unleash unforeseen, chaotic potential…. Thackray is not asking anyone to trade in their Strad … but, rather, to posit that the violin can be a tabula rasa for gleeful, impractical experimentation.”