Sunday, April 16, 2006

Never. Again.

No more wedding ceremonies. Two out of the last four I've done have been disasters; not because of any failing on my part, but simply because they have been "over-planned" by the clients. The more details you ask for, the greater the chances that something won't go according to plan. Not only that, but the work of learning the musical requests gets in the way of my personal musical agenda, which includes learning the music for my next CD. Receptions are OK, but no more ceremonies! *spit*

*****

This brief hiatus has given me a chance to figure out a few things about the blog, and so I'm going to expand it's horizons a bit. Don't worry, I'm going to keep the pinup girl tag, but I'm going to blog about some other musical and non-musical interests I have. Don't worry, politics is not important to me: I consider myself to have evolved beyond the whole nation-state "thing" and I'm just waiting for the rest of the world to catch up with me.

*****

Today I want to give you some cool sites related to Antonio Stradavari, luthier and maker of the Stradavarius violins, violas, and cellos which bear the latinized version of his name.

I've always been fascinated by the mistique these instruments have, though I personally believe they are stupidly over-valued and that contemporary luthiers make instruments that are superior in every way. But that's just me. I mean, his instruments were made for gut strings, for crying out loud, so any great "tone" they have in modern setups with steel strings is purely accidental, if it is not simply a subjective bias on the part of the listener (Which I'm positive is the actual case). But anyway...

There is an absolutely fascinating site which lists every single instrument he made that is still extant, gives the names they are known by, and has photos of many of them. I spent hours kicking around on that list the other night. You may get lost there as well.

Most people don't know that old Antonio made a few five-course Baroque guitars circa the 1690 as well, and that three of them still survive, at least one of which is still in playable condition. Not only that, but a few modern master luthiers have copied that design and John Ainsworth actually markets a copy. It is devastatingly gorgeous.



This is something I will have to aquire at some point. Absolutely, positively.

It is not quite as amazing as my Anthony Murray though.



That German Spruce top is as highly figured as they come, and it was harvested back in the late 40's: There is no more like it.

Tony was the one who informed me of the technique that modern luthiers have developed, and he was always shaking his head at people who spent fortunes for "old axes" as he called them. Modern instruments by the best builders are simply better, and that's all there is to it. You may not like that idea, but it's true (I'm sure the Strad Guitar Copy is better than the original was as well).



It's all in the greater levels of precision measurements that are possible these days.

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