Friday, April 8, 2011

Gettin on with it,

.....speaking of adversity, here's a problem needing to be solved early in the instrument development: Many people have asked me about the 3 suns around the acoustic sound holes. Being middle-aged I'm legally far-sighted (starting to lose that, too.). That's OK until you wanna see something up close! Envision for a second looking straight on to 27 strings; that's a span of about 14 inches across the strings where I play. When you set it on your leg and look down on the strings from the players perspective it's reduced to a much narrower field of vision. 2 1/2 inches to be exact. How am I going to see enough to know where the strings are at when it's time to play? First thought was to draw up a Celtic knot pattern and do the inlay around the sound hole to use as a sight reference. That was until I found myself sitting in the Doctor's office looking at a Field and Stream magazine and spied a picture of a garden being watched over by this very cool ornament...a cast metal sun. It wasn't that particular shape that interested me as much as the concept of sun flames. Later in the evening I drew up 3 sizes of a 3D raised sun with flames to make out of a dark ebony to contrast the top; they sit in such a way in the acoustic sound hole to rotated freely, giving me the variables I needed, while in the playing position, to dial in the suns under the strings once the instrument is strung up. So it goes like this; certain flame-points fall under particular strings that I hold to memory and it keeps my eyes and hands synced together while playing. I still have to wear one reader contact lens in my left eye to remove the blur. Before the contact lens, I was wearing 2 pairs of reading glasses while learning how to play it. The lady who cuts my hair (if you can imagine that) told me about doing the 1 contact lens (mono-vision thay call it), and being sold on the idea solely that she had been cutting my hair for years with 1 contact lens..........

1 comment:

  1. Amazing...quoting Albert Einstein, "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination." Thank you for sharing your process, this amazing guitar that you built and your beautiful music...pulling at my heartstrings...God speed.