Posts from ‘News’
For many years, we have closely followed and admired the work of French luthier Bastien Burlot who has built guitars for the likes of Roland Dyens and Thomas Viloteau. However, his most recent project – which he is calling “Alkemia” – has got us more excited than ever before!
For the “Alkemia” project, Bastien is building a series of guitars with rosettes inspired by the great cathedrals of France. The first instrument he is building for is based off the Chartres Cathedral located about an hour outside Paris by train. As you can see in the photos below, the mosaic designs in the rosette are taken directly from the stained-glass windows of the church itself. In addition, the label has a labyrinth design which comes from the floor of the cathedral’s nave, a famous gathering spot of pilgrims from around the world who walk the labyrinth with their heads bowed in prayer.
Last year, we were thrilled to play a role hosting Guitar CoOp’s interview with Christopher Parkening here in the GSI showroom. This past month, all four parts of the series were released and the entire interview is now available!
Throughout the interview, Parkening touches on many fascinating subjects including his early life with the guitar, studies with Andres Segovia, recording CD’s with Columbia Records, and his experience working with legendary composers including Elmer Bernstein, John Williams, Joaquin Rodrigo, and more.
There’s a “spirit of openness and environmental awareness” throughout this 12th issue, to quote the editor of Orfeo, Alberto Martinez. That spirit is clear as the issue covers the process of environmentally-conscious guitar-making in Belgium, from research to physical workings of the most renowned luthiers in the country. Much of what this issue covers is not really information the public knows well, but many guitar aficionados do discuss from time to time, so we’re excited to bring to you all this particular publication. The Belgium Special features information on many innovative organizations and builders that work to make sustainable guitars, including the luthiery school of Puurs, Leonardo Guitar Research Project, Acoustics Laboratory, Le Mans University, Crelicam Project, luthier Walter Verreydt, Karel Dedain and Mark Peirelinck.
The Arts Review publication is brought to us all by the Wilmette Arts Guild, and its aim is to “…inform, stimulate and inspire” as it does with all of its content. So, when GSI’s own President David Collett was asked to write a piece about the master-luthier and father of the modern classical guitar Antonio de Torres for Arts Review, he couldn’t resist to put his vast knowledge on the subject to work.
In addition to the three prize winning guitars at this year’s Granada Guitar Building Competition, we were particularly taken by one instrument from French-Ukrainian guitar builder Youri Soroka. So much so in fact that we asked him to build a new guitar for us to share with all of you!
Youri’s backstory is almost as beautiful as the look and sound of his instruments. Here he describes how he went from a career in technology to falling in love with the craft of guitar building:
We are so happy to announce that The Sound Of Torres, the new CD we produced with the great guitarist George Sakellariou, is now available! The CD features George playing two different guitars by Antonio de Torres, a First Epoch guitar from 1862 and a Second Epoch one from 1888. It’s a pretty amazing chance to hear these amazing instruments played by someone able to bring out all of their beauty and we are very pleased indeed with the result. The repertoire George chose spans from Bach to the Rolling Stones (George’s great arrangement of Paint It Black) and also includes works by Sor, Satie, Ponce, Fleury, Piazzolla, Carlevaro, Pujol and Mikis Theodorakis. You can buy the CD here, or you can download or stream the CD at Amazon, Spotify, or just about anywhere you listen to music.
For more information about the guitars themselves check out the liner notes by GSI president David Collett:
An unexpected treat for us when Guinga came in to record was getting to hear his wife, Anna Paes, sing. Here they are performing Neblina E Flâmulas, a piece written by Guinga with lyrics by Aldir Blanc, with Guinga playing a great 2006 Rafael Moreno Rodriguez flamenco negra in spruce and CSA rosewood.
We’re very excited to present the world premiere of Evan Hirschelman’s new piece Unfeathered As We Are. Evan wanted to pair his new piece with the perfect guitar, and after trying out quite a few we wondered how it would sound on the 1969 Ramirez Segovia had owned and played for 11 years. There’s not much that guitar can’t handle beautifully, so we tried it and it turned out to be a perfect fit.
We asked Evan for a few words about the piece and guitar:
“Unfeathered As We Are is a new composition I wrote, exploring a wide range of textures and emotions. It was a joy to perform this work on the legendary historic guitar Segovia owned and performed on. It was interesting to hear what the maestro was looking for in an instrument, while adapting to the timbral sound quality to interpret my own composition and playing style. I actually had the chance to play this guitar when GSI received it over a year ago, and wrote about my experience on my blog. The sheet music for Unfeathered As We Are will be available on my website starting next week.”
Check out these photos sent to us from German luthier Julia Wenzel of her new instrument coming our way very soon! You may remember Julia’s gorgeous Cedar top and Cypress back and sides from several months ago, an instrument that was identical to her prize winning guitar in the 2017 Granada Guitar Building Competition. We are now looking forward to getting our hands on the instrument below and seeing what new colors this completely different combination of woods brings to her sound.
Danish luthier Kenneth Brögger recently shared some of the fresh designs he is using for his new guitars, one of which we will be welcoming into the GSI showroom very soon! Most notable of his instrument’s new look is the innovative headstock shape which, as you can see in the photos, is based off a principle called The Polycentric Baroque Arch. Read about his inspiration for this design as well as other changes you can expect to see in his new guitars below!