Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Knutsen Marquetry

Its was a great honor to be asked to specially reproduce some classic marquetry for our friends at Guitar Repair in Italy. Andy and Alessio are two of the finest repair people in Europe, and more recently they have also been making some spectacular reproduction roundneck guitars under their name 'BAGNASCO & CASATI'. Check them out!

 The guitar is a vintage Knusten Harp guitar from the early 20th century, currently under restoration at the Guitar Repair shop.

 Here you can see the original marquetry, with the original colors now mostly faded. From Italy Andy supplied the measurements and preferences for the reproduction at 6 whites, black, red, black, red, black with the white veneer either side. The outer herringbone was not required.

The process is similar to how I produce the rope marquetry for my Weissenborn reproductions. By making it myself, I have control over the quality of the woods and species used, and am able to accommodate the subtle differences in specifications between instruments of various eras. Or as in this case - make an impossible to find strip that the commercial makers would not even consider.

 The marquetry laminations must be heat proof to allow it to bend, and traditionally this was either fish glue or later urea formaldehyde. 

The smallest batch was much more than they needed for this repair, but now we have a small supply should someone ever need it! Good luck with the repair gentlemen!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Thomas Oliver - 'Jurassic Park Theme'

Check out Thomas Oliver's lap slide arrangement of the classic John Williams score 'Jurassic Park'. Taken from Thomas Oliver's forthcoming record 'Beneath the Weissenborn', coming soon.

"I was 7 years old when Jurassic Park was released. I went to see it at the movies about 5 times. Even at the age of 7, I was absolutely enamoured by the music. The main reason I kept going back to see it was so that I could hear the music again. It would be another 3 years before I would even touch a guitar, but the Jurassic Park score touched me deeply as soon as I heard it. It was the soundtrack to a very special time in the lives of many kids such as myself; for the first time, dinosaurs were alive, and our fascinations were entertained! But more than that, it was an incredibly beautiful piece of music. The melody stuck in my head for 20 years before I finally owned it myself. And when I bought it recently, it was like being reunited with a long lost friend, and I played it over and over and over again, as loud as I could, thrusting my arms into the air in the middle of my lounge room. Every time I listen to it, still I just can't believe how good it is. It remains my favourite film score ever. So I decided to arrange it for my favourite instrument ever, the Weissenborn. Thank you, John Williams, for such an incredible piece of music." - Thomas Oliver