Posts from ‘Feature Articles’
Orfeo Magazine just released their 11th issue, and it’s an English Special. Within the 74 pages, the issue starts by giving a brief history of the guitar in England and how it originated from a cittern-like instrument with courses of strings, then we get into classical guitar builders who make their instruments in England, including Paul Fischer, the successor of the famous master David Rubio, and Christopher Dean, who likes to build traditional Spanish-influence instruments in the Torres and Santos styles. Orfeo then gives a profile of Kevin Aram, who like Dean, builds traditionally in the Spanish and Hauser styles, yet interestingly builds electric and acoustic guitars in the cigar-box fashion for fun – What a hobby! Gary Southwell’s story is intriguing because he builds historical replicas in the style of Lacote, Stauffer and Pagés as well as modern and contemporary guitars with a scientific approach. We get to Michael Gee who is known for his double-top guitars, and close off with tuning machine maker David Rogers, whose extravagant works are known as some of the best tuning machines ever.
Click here to read the full Orfeo #11 issue and learn more about the guitar scene in England.
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’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.
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…
Check out the top 5 video picks from sales associate Andrew Lee:
1) Barrios ‘Una Limosna Por El Amor De Dios’ played by Jennifer Kim (2005 Edmund Blochinger)
When I first watched this video I thought, she’s not human…Her tremolo is literally out of this world – it really showcases the 2005 Blochinger’s capability and confirms once again that it is a world class instrument. Excited to see what comes next for this young and talented artist after her studies at Peabody with Barruecos.
When I heard we were doing staff picks, I thought: Which videos come to mind right away, without any second guesses? Which ones have recently caught my attention the most? It was tough narrowing it down to five videos, but then again my picks change every few months, so these are just the five I can loop on YouTube for days (as of now). This is also a great way to introduce friends to these videos as a sampling of the classical guitar, so enjoy:
We thought it might be fun to poll everyone at GSI about some of their favorite videos, and we started at the top with GSI president David Collett. So, with the caveat that we all agreed that our ‘favorites’ change on a weekly basis, here are the five videos that came to David’s mind when we asked:
Check out this lovely piece on NPR about Leo Brouwer’s legacy, which includes some very interesting details about his life and how that influenced his musical upbringing. Here’s a great quote that I think we all responded to:
“To be useful is something incredible, because you’re at the service of the world,” Brouwer says in Spanish. “Humans, when they communicate, when they teach, when they show, when they give … they’re doing one of the most beautiful things in life … Perhaps my roots in solitude, of being an orphan — it forces me to these reflections.”
Here’s a great and very in-depth interview with Amalia Ramirez from Roseta Magazine, the magazine of the Spanish Guitar Society. Javier Suárez-Pajares discusses the history of Ramirez, Amalia’s personal involvement in some rough transitions during the 1980’s, and her vision for the future of the Ramirez brand. You can click here to read the article in Spanish, or continue to read the full article in translation below.
Check out this great article in Classical Guitar magazine about Scott Tennant‘s Segovia sessions – the CD he’s recording of Segovia’s compositions recorded on Segovia’s 1969 Jose Ramirez. The article tells the whole story of how the CD came to be recorded and features some beautiful photography by GSI’s Felix Salazar and a great description of the guitar itself by GSI president David Collett.