Archive for August, 2011
As almost everyone has noticed by now, up until yesterday I didn’t know how to spell the word ‘Ukulele’. That wouldn’t have mattered to anyone but me if I hadn’t done a blog post about ukes (Ooks?) and sent out a web blast, all with my mis-spelling. Thanks for the corrections, and I promise to try to get it right in the future. Now – Is it OK for us Haoles to pronounce it You-Ku-le-le, or should we go with Oo-Ku-le-le?
And if anyone wants to sponsor my cultural re-education with, say, a six week stay on Kauai, I’ll see what I can do about my schedule.
Scott Wolf stopped by again last week to play a bunch of the cool guitars that had just come in, including a 2000 Blochinger, a 1930 Santos Hernandez. He was working on Koshkin’s ‘Usher Waltz,’ so we recorded that on all the guitars. It’s a cool piece, and since it has a huge dynamic range the beginning of the piece may seem a little quiet – the alternative was to over-compress the piece, so I chose to leave the quiet parts quiet (call me old-fashioned).
Not satisfied with building amazing guitars in the classic Spanish tradition, Pepe Romero Jr. is now building ukuleles (in addition to guitars, of course). As he describes it, he approaches them as little guitars, and builds them with the same care and attention to detail that he puts into his guitars. Check out the video of Pepe telling us a bit about how he got into ukes and then demonstrating them for us. I won’t pretend to know what a great ukulele should sound like, but I really liked them.
Here’s a great article on the history of the French school of luthiery written by none other than Daniel Friederich himself. The French school is relatively small, but very influential, and Friederich is certainly the reigning patriarch of that school. Our own David Collett is off to France next week to meet with Friederich, Dominique Field and Jean-Noel Rohe and will report back when he returns. In the meantime, here’s the article:
***This article has been removed at the request of the translator***
Eric Sahlin is sending us a new guitar any day now, and he sent us these cool photos in advance. I always like seeing workshops and how the makers make things like rosettes, so I love this stuff. Also, he may just have the cleanest shop I’ve seen. As always, click on the photos to see them bigger.
We’re about to receive guitar #77 from Tobias Berg, and this will be the first guitar we get from him that features his new double-sided construction method. Tobias has been working on this for some time now, and he and I had a little exchange about it, since my first question was, quite simply, ‘why?’. Now that I understand the concept I’m looking forward to hearing the guitar, and of course we’ll do a video so you can all hear it. Check out the photos below (as always just click on them to see larger images) and then scroll down to see my mini interview with Tobias about it.
Julius Reder Carlson is a musicologist and ethnomusicologist at UCLA who came in to the shop a few weeks ago and really impressed everyone with his playing, so we were very happy when he accepted our invitation to come record some guitars. Here he is playing guitars by Richard Howell, Henner Hagenlocher, Kenneth Brogger and Stefano Moccetti.
Gypsy Kings lead guitarist Tonino Baliardo came by GSI on Sunday before his show at the Greek Theatre to pick out a new guitar. Though he loves the sound of the koa Conde AF25/R that he used to record the last Gypsy Kings album, he felt the guitar was a little small (It’s actually an interesting guitar – a smaller bodied Conde AF25/R that to my ear sounds no different from the regular sized ones), so he wanted essentially the same guitar but bigger, and ended up falling in love with another, regular sized, rosewood Conde AF25/R. Bottom line is that he took the new one with him and left us the smaller bodied koa one to sell. So if you’ve ever wished you could get a smaller-bodied Conde, this is actually the only one I think I’ve seen. Here he is playing his koa gutar and then his new rosewood one.