Daniele Marrabello "A Nina"
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In our opinion, luthier Daniele Marrabello is one of the great younger talents currently on the Italian guitar making scene. He works in his hometown of Milan, and was also able to complete his studies in the same city at the Civic School of Luthiery. In his first 3 years he learned the basic techniques of building musical instruments, and for his final year of school he was able to apprentice in the workshop of maestro Enrico Bottelli in Voghera. In 2012 Daniele opened his workshop in Vimodrone, near Milan where he builds traditional instruments with particular attention to the beauty of the details and of the exceptional materials used. This quality is reflected in a sound, from guitar to guitar, that is becoming always more appreciated in Italy and abroad.
Daniele claims the inspiration in his work comes primarily from the work of Hermann Hauser I and of the Spanish luthiers Antonio de Torres, Domingo Esteso and Enrique Garcia. These instruments, which Daneile has had the chance to hear live and in many recordings, have extraordinary musical timbral characteristics that he also seeks to capture in his guitars. His approach is both scientific and instinctual, so on one hand, he will skillfully measure the wood’s specific weight and the flexibility to gain some objective parameters with which to work, but then always follows his own musical sensitivity and experience in crafting the wood. In our opinion, this produces a guitar which has a very strong resemblance to Hauser I - specifically by having tone that has a piano-like clarity in all registers, precise balance and a vast color palette (bright and brassy when played ponticello, milky and luminous when played sul tasto, and everything imaginable in-between). Every note has a clearly defined and "anchored" fundamental at its core with very controlled and transparent overtones coating each note. In addition to sound, Daniele also considers the aesthetic details to be very important and has worked very hard to find a pleasing design that he can combine with the best materials he can source.
Each instrument Daniele builds is personally meaningful to him - in his craft he captures moments in his life that bring joy, worries or other specific emotional experiences during the time of building his guitars. This particular instrument reflects the birth of his daughter, Nina – an event that has evoked so much joy in Daniele and a sense of a new beginning. The label includes the special dedication “a Nina” (to Nina) with a watercolored drawing of a red poppy. This flower is not only a symbol of hope and of a peaceful future, but is also a meaningful symbol in Daniele’s family. Daniele was building this guitar during the dramatic period of Italian lockdown as well as when he was waiting for Nina’s arrival.
Overall this is an outstanding instrument and we are delighted to be working with this excellent builder.
Photos of this guitar taken during construction