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."
This is Youri's latest concert guitar, which he feels is highly influenced by Torres and Hauser models. The first thing we noticed when we picked it up was its noticeably lightweight build which gives the guitar immediate sound when the string is ever so slightly moved. It has a huge, rich bottom-end and thick, creamy trebles. The guitar has noticeably great power as well - this could easily fill any concert hall. For this guitar Youri used flamed European maple for the back and sides and spruce for the soundboard. The rest of the materials were sourced from local woods - indeed last year Youri participated in the "Local Wood Challenge" where he was quite pleased with the results from the materials he tested out, particularly with alder, which he used for the neck and linings of this guitar, and with wild pear wood which he used for the fingerboard, bridge, headplate and bindings. The tasteful use of these materials has produced a very elegant aesthetic, and is well-executed and firmly traditional in all aspects of its build. As with previous instruments Youri has sent us, this is a substantial instrument considering this maker is so early in his career.