Granada, ciudad de la guitarra

IMG_6244Spanish version here. Yesterday we spent the afternoon setting up the exhibition “Granada, ciudad de la guitarra” which opens today in the Sala Zaida, Caja Rural. The exhibition opens with a quote from Evaristo Valentí’s article “La nueva escuela” and takes us through the development of the guitar (thanks to Asociación para el Estudio de la Guitarra RCSMVE) to leave us with a great collection of guitars made in Granada. The only exception is the Antonio de Torres guitar from the Centro de Documentación Musical de Andalucia which is there to remind of us of the fact that Torres built his first guitar in Granada. IMG_6256A series of videos showing guitar-makers at work, a selection of historical tools, jigs and documents are on display as well. The highlights of the exhibition will be the concerts, live workbenches and the conferences. Here you can see guitar-maker Juan García Fernández, who will have his workbench onsite for a few periods throughout the exhibition, admiring the work of Pernas, Caro and del Valle. Thanks again to Gloria Medina for all the work and of course to Fundación Caja Rural and Poli Servián for the iniative. Click here for the programme. IMG_6255

Cordoba Guitar Festival

Cordoba Guitar Festival  This is probably the biggest and best guitar festival in the world.

I was lucky enough to be a small part of the festival when they paid hommage to Antonio de Torres and chose my Torres replica to be part of the exhibition in 2007.  There were a number of Torres originals (more than ever assembled) and even more historical guitars from around Andalucia.  Myself and two other makers were asked to present our Torres copies.  This year I will be attending once again to present “The Granada School of Guitar-makers” on July 2.  This will be a chance for the international attendees to have a look at the book and to buy it in Cordoba. 

The Torres rosette

As you saw in the last post I can inlay the mosaic pieces along with the veneer lines into the channel in the top in one step.  However, the rosette on the Torres guitar I copy has a lot more lines, mother-of-pearl and some herringbone which needs to be placed so the “arrows” meet on the centre line of the top.  Years ago when I was having trouble with a wide rosette Rafael Moreno told me about the technique of glueing the rosette into a different piece of wood and then cutting it out and inlaying into the top.  From there to using plexiglass was a short step.  The problems I was having at the time were due to the swelling of the rosette with the glue and the more lines there are the bigger the problem.  P1020607 So I take the herringbone out of the set of veneer strips that you see above and replace it with plastic spacers which don’t stick to the wood and glue the whole rosette into the plexiglass just as if it were the top.  Glueing in the herringbone is then a simple task once the glue is dry and I can put it exactly where I want it.  Once again I think that Torres (and other builders) must have done something similar because otherwise how can you get the two herringbone points to meet exactly at one of the mother-of-pearl rectangles?P1030820

Paul Reed Smith

So why does an electric guitar-maker have a place on this spanish guitar site?  Well, it turns out that we share a common inspiration (so do hundreds of other builders) in the guitars of Antonio de Torres.   I got a message from someone in television wanting some more information about the Torres copy that I sent to the Classical Guitar Store in Philadelphia.  It turns out they were doing a show on Paul Reed Smith and my guitar has a cameo in the show.  I’ll let them tell you about Paul and how he got started whereas if you want to know more about me this is the place.  So here is the show.  I feel like I should link to the original video too, here.


Rosewood Torres-Evaristo Valentí

I have a good excuse for writing such a short post this week.  Just a reminder:  Everything with a sharp edge can be dangerous if your attention strays.  The cut isn’t so bad actually but  enough thickness of skin came off that it will be awhile healing.  Meanwhile  here is a shot of the bird’s-eye which came as promised from Rumania and some music played on a Rosewood Torres copy.  The guitarist and soundman is Evaristo Valentí. 

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