Out of respect for dryads everywhere, Betsy usually plays a carbon-fiber cello for which no trees were murdered. (Well, okay, maybe one tree, since the bridge is still made of wood. However, we are sure that even the dryads would forgive her once they’ve heard her play.) Betsy’s black five-string carbon-fiber cello, Raven, was custom-made for her by Luis & Clark Instruments of Boston.
Betsy normally plays Raven standing up, using an extra-long custom endpin and a harness system she invented herself. That’s Raven there, to the left.
You can hear Raven on many of Betsy’s recent recordings, including Tricky Pixie’s studio album, Mythcreants, and S.J. Tucker’s “Girl With The Lion’s Tail” (Quartered, 2009).
Betsy’s five-string electric cello, Buzz, was custom-made for her by Jensen Musical Instruments. She plays Buzz standing up, too, fastened to a sturdy drum stand. As you can see in this photo, Buzz consists mainly of an ebony fingerboard, strings, and a bridge; because of this, he was responsible for Betsy’s online moniker, “stealthcello,” originally used by a reviewer to describe Betsy’s radical-looking instrument.
These days, Betsy plays her old wooden cello, Godiva, mainly for studio recording. Godiva is a German instrument, made in 1935 by Heinrich Fuchs. She has a dark, rich, sweet tone (hence her name) but is not very loud. You can hear Godiva on Betsy’s Internet single, “Dark Eyes,” on Leannan Sidhe‘s album Fragile Dreams (2011), on S.J. Tucker’s “Cold Sunshine” (Sirens, 2006) and on Gaia Consort’s album Vitus Dance (2007).