A few weeks after the death of her father, Kaitlyn Kastigar had just finished a tour of Australia’s silent violin market, where she had met many of the performers she would become friends with for the rest of her life.
“I’d always wanted to learn more about these people, about their stories, about how they got to where they are now,” Kastigs said.
She was also excited by the chance to spend time with a man who was a vocal critic of the industry she had seen.
“He’d come to our store, and he’d say, ‘Why are you not going to go to the violin shops?’
And I’d say to him, ‘Because I’m a woman.'”
But while KastIGAR may have been eager to learn about the industry and its practitioners, she wasn’t entirely sure if she wanted to be involved.
“A lot of these people were just like, ‘You don’t have to do anything, you can do this and that, you don’t need to have a career, you just have to make music,'” she said.
“And I think it was a lot of people’s way of, ‘Well, I’m just doing this for the money, and I’ll just take my violin home and play it, it’s all right, there’s nothing wrong with it.'”
In the end, Kastigaar was happy to just let the experience go, because she knew she had a lot more to offer.
“It’s amazing that so many people are so supportive of each other, and so kind, and open-minded, and really understanding of each others’ struggles,” she said of her time in Australia.
“You know, they’re just kind of a wonderful group of people.
You know, and they’re like a family.”
The Silence is Heard: A Life in Conversation is on ABC Radio National on Thursday at 11:00pm.
For more information, visit the ABC website or call 1800 ABC RN.