A while back we were contacted by two direct descendants of Antonio de Torres. They were making a film about Torres and asked if they could use some of our videos and photos of the many great Torres guitars we’ve had come through GSI over the years. We were of course more than happy to help, and now they need your help to finish the film. Check out their modest Kickstarter campaign and help them finish what looks to be a fantastic film about the man who developed the guitar as we know it.
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Torres, and it is the perfect time to celebrate all things Torres. His instruments constantly astonish us with the quality of their sound and even the volume they produce. You can see some of the great videos we’ve shot on Torres guitars here, and you can read a bit about the man himself here, but be sure to watch the video below then click here and consider contributing whatever you can to this film about the man who contributed so much to the instrument we all love.
The goal of this project is to unveil and demystify the personality and work of Antonio de Torres Jurado (1817-1892), considered to be the father of the current classical guitar, on the occasion of his 200th birthday in 2017. The film will also seek to profile the current trends in guitar making in light of Torres’ contribution to the craft in the 19th century. This documentary film will be recorded in Digital 4K format.
The film will use as its central theme, the story of one of Torres’ great iconic instruments, known as “La Invencible” (the only guitar declared as an Asset of Cultural Interest by the Spanish government) as it travels from Barcelona, Spain to Verona, Italy to be restored by luthier Gabriele Lodi. Upon its return to Spain, it will be used to record the soundtrack for this film.
Many fascinating details about the life of Antonio de Torres during his time in Almería, Seville and Barcelona will be shown in their historical, political and social contexts. Also to be explored will be the personal relationships he had with the leading guitar personalities of his day – Dionisio Aguado, Julián Arcas, Francisco Tárrega, Federico Cano, Miguel Llobet and others. Of course great attention will be paid to his creativity, influences and the scope of his work. To achieve this, a series of recorded interviews with several experts and aficionados of Torres will be included.
The film will be narrated throughout to tell the story about the life and work of this phenomenal guitar maker born in Almeria. The narration will be accompanied by visuals such as official documents (including his marriage license, census certificate, death certificate, last will and testament), the award for his 1858 (FE08) guitar in the Universal Exposition in Seville, the musical scores dedicated to Torres by Federico Cano and Julián Arcas, press articles (some of them untold) as well as historical photos from that period and place. And of course several original Torres instruments will be recorded, discussed and analysed for inclusion in the film. CGI will be used to animate various structural details of these guitars.
The whole documentary film will be infused with the famous “Torres Sound”. Respected guitarist Carles Trepat will perform the music used for the soundtrack with the restored guitar “La Invencible”. Stefano Grondona has also collaborated very closely with the film makers to ensure the sonic mood is maintained throughout the film. Featured composers will include Isaac Albéniz, Joaquín Rodrigo and Enrique Granados as well as such notable guitar-composers as Julián Arcas, Francisco Tárrega and Miguel Llobet.
Risks and challenges
As Torres’ direct descendants, we feel that we must create a tribute which lives up to the name of Torres, and that’s difficult, very difficult. Torres is considered to be the father of the modern classical guitar – the “Stradivari” of the instrument, so great care and attention must go in to the creation of this film. The biggest challenge we’ve encountered during the research process is the lack of solid information to be found in libraries and historical archives – a great deal of these documents having been destroyed during the Spanish civil war. At the moment we are at the final recording stage and we’ve just edited the first “big” preview that was screened the 12th of June in Almeria’s “Antonio de Torres” guitar museum. Another challenge has been to deliver and capture a consistent story as we worked with the many different collaborators – experts, academics, musicians, collectors, luthiers, etc. Our aim has been to create the most representative point of view of Torres and his work and to celebrate the contribution of this great main to the last two centuries of guitar making.
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