In Memoriam: John Weissenrieder (1964-2017)
by Andrea Tacchi
My friend John Weissenrieder and I had the pleasure of knowing each other, as well as time spent working together and later, harvesting the work of those years. And now – unexpectedly and with great sadness – the time has come for me to share some of my memories of John and the work we did together on guitars.
Orfeo Magazine has, as promised, published their next five issues (#6-10) in print format all in one captivating, quality book. Orfeo did not shy away from providing all of the quality content they deliver online into this one package, which, by the way, we think can make a nice gift during this season! As they did with their compilation of issues #1-5, Orfeo gathers their latest five publications and showcases top-notch, in-depth stories about luthiers the likes of Andrea Tacchi, Luca Waldner, José Luis Romanillos, Antonio de Torres and Eric Sahlin – all spanning various countries including Italy, Spain, Germany and the US, and all building in different styles.
You can find Orfeo’s compilation of issues #6-10 at the GSI Store, and also check out their full catalog of publications on Orfeo’s website.
If you’re watching us all over social media, then you’ve surely heard about our Loriente Giveaway that just ended last week. We had over 3,000 entries and randomly selected 10. Of those 10, we had JohnPaul randomly select 1 winner by drawing the name out of a guitar case, and we filmed the whole moment live on Instagram.
…And the winner of our Loriente Giveaway was John Hartman, who chose a Loriente Clarita SP/IN!
We are currently running our next giveaway – the GSI “Studio Series” Giveaway, so be sure to continue following us on all platforms for more updates, fun contests and to learn how to enter for a chance to win a GSI “Studio Series” guitar.
Orfeo Magazine’s 10th release is particularly special to us – it showcases builders from our side of the world as the writers and photographers document their trip up and down the West Coast. It’s great to see so many of our friends in this issue! Pepe Romero Jr., down in San Diego, talks about his family legacy, how he makes guitars and shows us his personal collection. We’re excited to see Richard Reynoso here representing Los Angeles as he lets us into his inspiration for making such tasteful instruments. Then, we head to NorCal in Berkeley where we get a nice look into the Harris Guitar Foundation collection of instruments, which are available to the students at SFCM. Gregory Byers, in Willits, CA, is next and gives us a look at his extensive and unique research into guitar-making. Orfeo then visits Portland Oregon’s Jeffrey Elliott to learn about his history as a luthier, his building process and the kind of sound he looks for. Their last stop is in Spokane, WA for none other than Eric Sahlin. Eric talks about being self-taught, his wood preferences and his innovative “twisted” fingerboards.
Orfeo No. 10 is almost like going on an actual road trip along the West Coast, and it is nicely guided by quotes by Jack Kerouac. Read the full Orfeo Magazine No. 10 in English here.
This is the second of two instruments that Edmund Blöchinger built nearly side-by-side, using a flitch set of CSA for the back and sides, but using two different (and equally ancient) tops for each one. A couple of weeks before this instrument arrived, we had received the first of these, his “Dome” guitar with the sister set of back and sides to this pine, which itself has its own incredible back-story that you can read here. But let us turn to this pine-topped instrument, which is an entirely different marvel unto itself also with its own compelling background.
Yenne Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1987. In 2015, she received her Doctor of Musical Arts in classical guitar from Manhattan School of Music, becoming the first-ever Korean to hold such an honor. A versatile guitarist, her interests include both classical and popular varieties of music.
Edmund Blöchinger’s “Dome” guitar has a very intriguing back story, so we thought it would be a great piece of information to share with everyone. Among the fascinating details about this instrument, it is notably interesting that the soundboard comes from the spruce beams that resided for over 450 years in the roof of the Frauenkirche in Munich, Germany – probably the most iconic structure in that city that tourists today flock to with their selfie sticks and zoom lens cameras. From these antique spruce beams is where the story of this guitar begins…