Youri Soroka "Torres"
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We met French-Ukrainian guitar builder Youri Soroka at the 2018 Guitar Making Competition in Granada, Spain and were immediately impressed with both the person and his work. 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."
Youri has recently fallen under the spell of Torres - which is almost unavoidable after having just seen his first authentic Torres during a recent trip to Paris where he attended (and exhibited at) the recent "Salon de la Belle Guitare" show. While in Paris, he was able to play guitars by Francisco Simplicio, Miguel Simplicio, Hermann Hauser Sr., Dominique Field, Daniel Friederich and of course Antonio de Torres. He was so impressed by the voice of the Torres that he recorded it to memory by playing it 5 times that day. Then, he returned promptly to his workshop to complete this very guitar and authentically capture the spirit of that Torres sound. And he did a marvelous job - quite different in character from his normal model, this guitar has an ultra lightweight build which gives the guitar an immediate sound when the string is ever so slightly moved, with a huge, rich bottom end and thick, creamy trebles. The guitar has noticeably great power as well - this could easily fill any concert hall. As is with Youri's taste, the instrument is well-executed and firmly traditional in all aspects of its build - a well-studied and informed attempt to discover the magic of Torres. This is a substantial instrument considering this maker is so early in his career.
Photos of this guitar taken during construction.