Archive for January, 2012
Many well-known string players play instruments they don’t own. It’s not uncommon for collectors to lend 6- and 7-figure violins or cellos to virtuosos so they can be played and heard. In the guitar world this is not common. So when guitarist Eva Beneke did a video for us on a 1952 Hauser I (probably the last he ever built – check it out here), fell in love with the guitar, and asked if she could record on it, the answer was ‘probably not’. But then we thought there would be nothing to lose in asking the owner if he would make the guitar available for a recording.
And he agreed to do it. And from there everything just fell into place. A local customer who had just bought a guitar volunteered a gorgeous space to record in – a room built for a custom-made organ. Then the folks at Apogee electronics offered to lend us a Symphony I/O interface with their new preamps for location tracking. What more could we ask for?
Eva is finishing the doctoral exams at the moment, but we managed to spend a day in the room with the guitar and Apogee’s gear for testing, and as soon as Eva finishes her exams we will begin recording.
This is going to be fun. We’ll keep you posted.
I finally bought an iPhone. I’d been on the fence for a while, and in the end it was not so much the iPhone itself that convinced me (I really like my Android, which has a few features the iPhone would do well to copy) as it was the fact that I needed one in order to use Apogee’s new ‘Mic’.
Click on the image to read my review and hear the Mic.
Here are some photos of Marc Teicholz at the shop in Santa Monica. On Sunday Marc will be playing some of the rarest guitars ever collected in one performance (details here). Here is the list of guitars that he will be playing:
1. 1867 Torres SP/MP
2. 1921 Santos SP/MP
3. 1930 Esteso SP/CSAR
4. 1936 Fleta SP/MP
5. 1952 Hauser SP/CSAR
6. 1969 Rodriguez “Churchdoor” CD/CSAR
7. 2007 Blochinger SP/MP
As you can imagine, it takes a minute to get used to so many different guitars, so Marc is getting acquainted (or reacquainted, as he played many of them on his CD Valseana) with them all as I write.
Luthier Erez Perelman (who was recently commissioned by Paco De Lucia to make him a guitar) just sent us a new guitar, and before he did he made a video for us telling us a little about the guitar and showing us how he test drives a new guitar to make sure it sounds right (Erez was a guitarist before he was a luthier). This particular guitar is sold, but we do have a 2009 flamenco of his in stock right now. (Since some readers have been having trouble viewing the videos there’s the YouTube link just in case.)
Felipe Conde and his son, also Felipe, were in town for a few days for the NAMM show and they stopped by to hang out with us at the shop in Santa Monica. I took this photo with my phone because it was two generations of Conde checking out a 1929 Esteso, Domingo Esteso being Felipe Sr.’s great uncle (and therefore Felipe Jr.’s great-great uncle). And even though I’m perfectly aware of the relationship it just suddenly struck me how cool it was to have all that history in the room at one time.
Here are a couple more lessons from Scott Morris’ book ‘Classical Guitar Complete – From Basics to Bach’. The first deals with a lot of the left hand issues in Carcassi’s etude #3, and the second is a piece of Scott’s called ‘Speed Trap’, that he wrote to deal with maintaining a constant tempo despite rhythmic variations (it’ll make sense when you watch it).
I’ve been in touch quite a bit with Graciliano Perez, from Cordoba, who will be sending us some guitars soon. Graciliano was recently in Granada hanging out with our friend Vicente Coves and with Maestro Pepe Romero, and he brought along a new guitar he had just finished for Vicente Amigo – a rosewood and cedar flamenco – and Vicente Coves was kind enough to record himself playing it for us. Vicente Amigo picked up the guitar today and said he might record a video of himself playing it, too, at some point, so I’m really looking forward to hearing that. Vicente Coves is a classical player, so it’s kind of interesting to hear him play a flamenco, and it’ll be great to then hear it played by Vicente Amigo.
Erez Perelman just sent us some photos of the guitar he’s about to finish for us. This one and the next one are already sold, and demand seems to be going up. The fact that Paco De Lucia just ordered one never hurts. So the wait for a new one will be longer than it used to be, but in the meantime we have one of Erez’s classicals as well as a 2009 blanca in mint condition with a 640mm scale.
The senior editor at Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Teja Gerken, has just selected Valseana as one of his ten ‘Acoustic Essential Albums‘ of 2011, and we couldn’t be more proud! This on top of a very nice review in the magazine from earlier in the year.
We’re particularly happy to hear this news as we gear up for our January 29th concert at the GSI showroom in Santa Monica featuring Marc playing selections from Valseana, as well some other material, on guitars by Torres, Hauser I, Fleta, Esteso, and more. Don’t miss your chance to see these amazing guitars played by one of the country’s top virtuosi. For more info and tickets click here.