Probably the best thing about 2012 was the fact that we were able to
share some truly amazing, historic, and rare guitars with a much wider
audience than ever before. Our first project was recording the CD
Valseana, which was released in 2010 and features Marc Teicholz playing
18 historic guitars built between 1867 and 2004. This was the first time
anyone had been able to hear a Torres, a Fleta, a Hauser, a Rodriguez and
lots more in one sitting played by the same great virtuoso, and recorded
in a way that made the tonal qualities of each instrument stand out as
distinct from each other as would be noticed in a live, acoustic setting.
It was as close as you could get to hearing the world’s greatest guitar
collection in person.
Early this year Marc was brave enough to recreate the Valseana concept in
a live setting at the GSI showroom – playing eight very different guitars
in one concert (from Torres to Blochinger) which we filmed live. I say
brave because it is no mean feat to switch between guitars of such
difference sizes and temperaments. Thanks to Jon Connoly of Avid (the
guys who make Pro Tools) we got a fantastic audio recording, and Jurgen
Reisch shot the video part of concert beautifully. As a result, not only
those in attendance but anyone anywhere could really see and hear these
amazing guitars. At last count Marc’s videos from the concert had about
110,000 YouTube views.
Our next chance to share a historic guitar was when German guitarist Eva
Beneke fell in love with a 1952 Hauser I – possibly the very last guitar
ever made by this influential maker. We spoke with the eventual buyer of
the guitar and he agreed to have us hold the guitar long enough for Eva
to record her CD with the guitar. For the video we shot in the showroom
Eva had played a German Christmas song, “Es ist ein Ros ‘entsprungen”,
and the response was so positive (just shy of 25,000 YouTube views to
date) that Eva decided to traditional German and English Christmas music
as the repertoire for the project. The result was the recently released
In Dulci Jubilo, which I’ve written plenty about on this blog – it
included several other artists, including Scott Tennant on several of the
tracks. Recording the CD was a blast (big shout out to the folks at
Apogee for lending us their flagship Symphony converters and preamps),
and Eva has received quite a bit of accolade as a result, including her
interview with Minnesota Public Radio’s ‘Performance Today’ being aired
nation-wide on Christmas Eve, just last week!
We were also very happy to become a sponsor of Scott Wolf’s highly
entertaining and informative new podcast All Strings Considered, in
which he interviews some great guitarists as well as some non-guitar
musicians. So far he’s interviewed Scott Tennant, Adam del Monte, Martha
Masters, Roland Dyens, Connie Sheu and the leaderless string ensemble “A
Far Cry”. This week’s release will be an interview with GFA competition
winner Vladimir Gorbach. These podcasts are in-depth and candid
interviews that treat these artists as the people they are, not just the
artists we know (or haven’t met yet). Scott is doing a great job and
we’re very happy to be a part of it.
We also launched our new website this year, and we think it does a much
better job of handling all of the media we’re producing – Felix Salazar’s
great product photos and the videos, as well as creating a more seamless,
up-close and personal experience of viewing guitars and other products.
We will continue to make it a great source of information via the blog,
forum and other areas where anyone on the web can join in and contribute
to the discussions and news items that we publish.
We’ve added some fantastic new luthiers to our roster this year as well,
including Ethan Deutsch, Graciliano Perez, Woon Sun Lee, Richard Reynoso,
Juan Miguel Carmona, Lorenzo Frignani, and Jean-Noel Rohe. Vicente Amigo
just recorded four tracks of his new CD with a Graciliano Perez flamenco,
and both Erez Perelman and Pepe Romero Jr. have built guitars for Paco De
Lucia in the past year.
And of course week-in and week-out we get to share the great guitars that
come into our inventory with top players who generously come in to our
showroom to film videos, and I’d like to personally thank all of the
artists who have shared their talents with us in 2012:
Julius Reder Carlson
Duo Partido – Dario Griffin and Alicia Ramirez
Agnew McAllister Duo – Matthew McAllister and Aisling Agnew
Duo Fado – Melinda Becker and Thomas Walsh
We wish all of you the happiest of new years, and we hope that all of us
can continue sharing our love for music and the guitar for many years to
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