David Collett, president of GSI, just visited Spain to meet and spend time with many of the exceptional luthiers we work with. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to visit everyone, but at least he was able to bring back hundreds of excellent photographs of the trip. We’ve cherry-picked some of ours favorites below.
This November, David Collett (president of GSI) traveled around Europe visiting with our various guitar friends, so of course he had to pay a visit to the great master luthier Daniel Friederich while in Paris. While the trip was planned – we were picking up our 2013 guitar, after all – and David usually visits Friederich each year anyway, the experience this time was particularly memorable. Read on to hear more about it, as well as check out some photos of the legendary workshop.
We recently had the pleasure of being visited by George Sakellariou – one of our favorite all-time guitarists here at the GSI office. While he was here playing the various guitars in our collection, it occurred to us that many of you out there, particularly the younger generation, may not be familiar with George and his exquisite playing. Read on to learn more about George, and of course, watch a few clips of him playing during his recent visit.
Pepe Romero Jr. recently approached us and asked for our help spreading the word about an important environmental issue. Along with Al Gore and his Climate Reality Project, not to mention the world-famous musician Jack Johnson, Pepe is determined to do something about the bark beetle infestations that are wreaking havoc on North American ecosystems. Watch the videos, have a look at his photos and read his story below. For more information or to help out, visit the Guitar of Reality initiative page.
Larry Newman of Children’s Music Workshop just wrote us to say that the children of Sendak Elementary School here in California started their violin lessons today, and that this wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of the GSI Foundation and the contributions of everyone out there who’s helped with a donation (or two!). We’re incredibly grateful for everyone’s willingness to contribute and get involved, and we’re certain we can continue to make a huge difference to public education all across the country.
Born in a small town 30 miles outside of Munich, Edmund Blöchinger grew up with a love of both the aural and the visual qualities of music. Wandering through town with his mother, he would become transfixed by not only the sound, but also the shapes of the fine classical guitars hanging in the windows of music stores. The seeds for his passion were also sown at an early age via his grandfather, a retired forest master who instilled in him a love of the natural and vibrant qualities of the woods from which he would eventually craft his own instruments. His grandfather taught him how to choose a perfect tree from the spruce forests that surrounded his home, and to this day Edmund still selects the wood for his guitar tops and cuts the trees himself.
Two weeks ago, we sent out a request for help. Our non-profit organization, the GSI Foundation, was trying to raise funds to save the music programs of a group of public schools from being canceled, and the deadline was drawing near. We published a letter from Tim Miklaucic explaining the organization, the program, what we’ve done so far and what we’re still trying to achieve.
In 1980, I journeyed to Paris for the first time in my life, for a full week. This was an adventure I undertook to meet the great Parisian luthiers, and generally take in the guitar culture of this thriving city. This initial experience led to my traveling regularly there for many years afterwards. Before I continue with the highlights and some details of these experiences, I must first mention a little of the process required in advance of the journey.
In Paris, in the heart of Faubourg St. Antoine (the district traditionally populated by wood workers and highly skilled cabinet-makers), passing through a courtyard one finds the atelier of luthier Daniel Friederich. The large workshop, composed of a few rooms, is full of wood, a realm of silence. The high windows, which don’t face the street, have curtains situated in such a way that the even light diffuses following the rules with which the maestro has organized the whole studio. Everything appears arranged so as to minimize any possible distractions: the position of the workbenches, lighting, and above all, the optimal location of tools. No unnecessary loss of energy, especially mental.