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:
“I was a computer software developer and came to guitar making by accident. Initially, I just wanted to repair my old classical guitar which led me to retable it. Impressed by the resulting sound and having then bought a few tools, I wanted to build one entirely from scratch.
“I completed my first guitar in less than a month working at night in my garage. Then the second, then third… I was starting to fall in love with the process. At some point, I realized that this was really something I wanted to do for a living as this was the first time in my life – when at work – I was saddened by the fact that it was 6 p.m. and time to go home.
“I always admired traditional and historical woodworking, and starting from my third build, I tried using hide glue and traditional methods for overall construction. Since then, I’ve stuck with these methods. Another thing important to me is building guitars in a planet friendly way with the least waste generated possible and no chemicals used – no gluing bindings with scotch, etc. The main ingredients are wood, hide glue and shellac. This also led to my interest in using local woods.”
On this particular guitar, Youri used a precious set of 15 year-old German spruce from the collection of late guitar builder Rolf Eichinger. For the back and sides, Youri chose a 40 year-old Wild Cherry which was also used on his guitar entered in the Granda Competition. Put together, these woods and overall design resulted in a “sound in the style of Hermann Hauser or Jeffery Elliott.” Needless to say, we’re all itching to experience Youri’s instrument for ourselves!
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