Reader's Votes

The Sound of Life’s Unspeakable Beauty

Author Martin Schleske
Foreword by Makoto Fujimura
with photographs by Donata Wenders
Translated by Janet Gesme

HARDCOVER: 4/14/2020 ISBN: 978-0-8028-7614-0 Price: $ 24.99 Trim Size, in inches: 5.50 x 8.50

“So the words of this beautiful book do not just describe, explain, or share information; these words are, in themselves, part of the Sound, and I can hear it from the first paragraph. Then, after, the worlds begin to overlap with music; I wanted to savor every paragraph, as if I, too, am a tuner listening to the timbre.”

[Makoto Fujimura, Visual artist and writer, NY]


“Reading these richly evocative reflections, I found myself again and again ‘surprised by joy.’ And gratitude. I was reminded that when people live into their callings deeply and faithfully, they become beacons. Stories from Schleske’s work as a violinmaker, his knowledge of trees and music and even varnish, become heart-opening parables, not by preachment, but by the loving particularity with which he pays attention to the work he was given.”

[Marilyn McEntyre, poet and essayist]


“Beautiful and exceptional”

[Hearts & Minds]


“Martin Schleske’s powerful The Sound of Life’s Unspeakable Beauty links the pursuit of beautiful music with that of finding God. Its text rare and magical, the book incorporates words from the Bible in an organic fashion, its quotes coming to seem both self-explanatory and surprising.

This new translation of Martin Schleske’s inspiring The Sound of Life’s Unspeakable Beauty is a gift to Englishspeaking audiences.”

[Foreword Reviews, Jeremiah Rood]


“Reading Martin is not an exercise; it is an encounter and experience. May each reader or listener who slows to ‘hear’ this work of art through its hallowed depths discover anew the ‘singer’ within their own heart.”

[W. Paul Young] Author of The Shack

 “Drawing on diverse sources—trees, mountain hikes, musical instruments, artwork—a violinmaker weaves a tapestry of beauty and spiritual wisdom. Rarely have I read such a fresh and stimulating work.”

[Philip Yancey] Author of The Jesus I Never Knew

 “I have never seen someone so passionately and comprehensively express the relationship between calling and faith. Page by page, Schleske offers lessons along his violinmaking journey that are sure to inspire his readers. His book compels me to join him as a friend and fellow traveler, walking in the woods with him as he shares his beautiful insights. Schleske is the teacher. I am the student. And in the end, I find in the book a sense of hopefulness about the world in which we journey.”

[Tony Payne] Associate Professor of Music, Director of Special Programs and Artist Series at Wheaton College

Martin Schleske is a writer, a violin maker, and – like all true artists – a lifelong learner. This unique book combines theology, philosophy, and personal stories of suffering and joy to emphasize the profoundly artistic nature of our individual and communal callings. It invites us to experience the sacred creativity of the gospel through the eyes of an attentive, ardent, and devoted artist and seeker. –

[Mary McCampbell] Associate professor of humanities, Lee University | In her laudation for the Book Award 2021 "Culture and the Arts" from Christianity Today