Sunday, 9 June 2019


New! for sale, 7/8crs Electric Mandora based on the Frei Body (KHM C34)





This hybrid Mandora brings together the 19th century Electric Mandora made and played by Christ Hirst (hear it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBgp0Km1CgA, and here in ensemble https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNeOu00VlxA) and the traditional Mandora as an un-amplified 7/8 crs conversion heared here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSYAQNsgojU played by Rod Blocksidge. So it can be played as a 7crs double strung Mandora (tuned d', a, f, C, G, D, C) or restrung to it's current state (tuned e, b, g, d, A, E, D, C). Dare I say it could be tuned as a renaissance lute in e with lute intervals just by tuning down a semitone, so 3 instruments in one potentially. 

Having converted Rod Blocksidges' Mandora from 7 to 8crs single recently (as heared in the link above) I decided to apply this to the 8 crs 19th century mandora I had made for Christ Hirst who uses it for modern ensemble music, hence the amplification. So by drilling the bridge with holes for 7 crs double and 8crs single and a nut that caters for both stringing then it combines the best of both Mandoras and more value for money for the player. Rod tells me the 8 crs can be used to play rare Russian music requiring 8 crs. 

The strings for 7 crs double and 8crs single have been adjusted to have the same overall tension, the neck and sickle pegbox are ebonised to be in keeping with guitars from the same period, and metal frets which worked just as well as gut, the back is in English yew pegs and bridge in Natural pearwood. The Hans Frei body (C34) is a popular choice, not too deep as later baroque lute bodies can be, once plugged in it's certainly loud enough!

£ 1445, case not included in price


Sunday, 17 February 2019


New to order : 6 course Spanish Guitar based on Joseph Benedid,
 Cadiz 1787 (Met Museum 1992.1.2)











This new affordable guitar is the 6 course Spanish Guitar, a transitional instrument between the Baroque and the Early Romantic single strung guitar. This instrument can be strung as a Vihuela, a Baroque guitar (as seen above), a 6 course Spanish guitar ( as seen above) and 6 single Early Romantic Guitar (as above), so 4 in one if you really want to explore music!
The 6 course had a short life span, circa 1780's to 1810's. Some examples can be found on You-Tube played by Thomas Schmitt or via Presto Classical of Fernando Ferandiere's, Moretti's and Guzman's music, as well as recordings of Boccherini's guitar quintets by Jose Moreno, so plenty of nice music (https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/search?search_query=6+course+guitar)

6 course guitars are by Pages and Benedid, most in the Barcelona Music Museum. The typical 6 course has a similar body length and depth to the late baroque guitars, some still having gut frets on the fingerboard but this one was made with metal, considering some guitar players may not be familiar with replacing gut frets. The body is made of light weight English Yew, ebonised maple neck and head stock, pearwood pegs, Indian Rosewood bridge, alpine spruce top. Ebony edging like a lute would have. This instrument can be made without the sound hole rings (minus £100) Hear it being played here :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJCbHRIplqI

£ 950 excluding case

Recital on this very instrument:

 
 
2. SATURDAY 20TH JULY 2019, 4PM
ST PETER'S CHURCH, STREATHAM, LONDON
Richard Mackenzie …
 
Scaramouche, will you do the fandango?

A recital to feature works by Francesco Molino (1775-1847) and Anton Diabelli (1781-1858) - including a fandango - performed upon a new instrument by luthier James Marriage (a copy of this: 
https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/503430).

The recital will be given upon the occasion of the artist's vamoosing from London in order to live somewhere provincial. Bring gifts - or else! :)

Concert entrance is FREE. A retiring collection will be made in aid of church funds, and newly pressed copies of the artists' critically acclaimed second album - "The Parisian Delight" - will be available to purchase.

NOTE THE START TIME OF 4PM.

Sunday, 20 January 2019


For sale new lower price 2019: 11 crs swan-neck lute (or Double lute) based on MIR 899
Originally by M.Hartung/Harton c1600 converted to a swan neck in c1691 by Johann Zacher/Dacherl Bresslau.





Yew multi-ribbed back, veneered neck with holly lines, stained maple extended neck with stained pearwood pegs, ebony fingerboard and natural pear wood bridge, strung all in gut at f' at a=415Hz, D minor tuning. Alternatively it could be strung like the double lute/luth en tuorbe/Luth a double manche in vieil ton as seen in  Mersenne's Harmonie Universelle (1636),  but in g' at Mersenne's pitch a=375Hz with a different set of strings. New Kingham case wine red exterior/black plush interior. Shallow body and string length of 63.4/90.2cm makes it very comfortable to play Weiss' 11crs music which suits this instrument. Hear it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKdCKVVtPkk
£ 4260 £3960 inc used case (some exterior scuffing)






For Sale new lower price 2019 : 13 course Buchenburg triple pegbox baroque lute








13 course Buchenburg (Edinburgh 3249 deep body) with a triple pegbox based on Jauck (Copenhagen CL104) triple rose from the Railich archlute  (MIM1569) Inspired by the Berner CL105 shown here, except the hideous bridge! This was originally an archlute made 2002 with a new neck, pegbox and soundboard. Stringlength 70.3/85.3/97.5 cm in f (a=415Hz) strung with NNG and the new copper loaded CD bases by Aquilla. 19 ribs and neck in Black Walnut, Bog oak fingerboard, ebonised pearwood triple pegbox, Indian rosewood pegs. 14 frets for the bach transcriptions. It can be heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqYwmBWHY0A

£2800 £2600 inc Kingham case



For Sale (ex-hire/used): Ex hire 7 course lute based on Hans Frei (Vienna KHM C34)

















7crs student lute for sale, made in 2015, used/hire instrument, ware due to playing/being held means its discounted to the current price. Strung in Kuershner Strings in g' at 440Hz, a warm a responsive tone. Yew heartwood body, maple neck and pegbox, pear wood pegs and bridge, fingerboard in eco-friendly English Bog oak. Currently on hire so if your interested in buying it when back off hire then it's first come first serve as standard.

New Price May 2019: £965 inc Kingham case £865 with alternative case shown




Thursday, 31 May 2018


 The 8crs Single strung (Electric) Mandora



This latest creation has been an instrument I had planned to do before so was pleased to make it as a commissioned instrument for Mandora music and onwards. There are some surviving 8crs Mandora manuscripts I'm told but this will be used for more modern music. The sound is in-between the Early Romantic guitar with it's single strings, higher tension and the body of the mandora. An article written by Chris Hirst about this instrument and it's historical inspiration for it can be read in the Lute Society news Number 126 July 2018.


Such instruments would have been played between 1800-1830 as seen above by a painting by Friedrich von Amerling, the metal frets making it a step closer to the Romantic Guitar yet with the qualities of the lute. Composer Simon Moilitor (1766-1848) of Neckarsulm preferred such an instrument and is commemorated as seen below.


The body is English Yew, alpine spruce top with protective ebony edging, Ebony fingerboard with metal guitar fretting, plain maple neck, lime wood pegbox, pear pegs and bridge.Strung in Nylgut NNG and D basses tuned e',b,g,d,A,E,D,C. Pickups are mounted inside for increased volume but was noticeably louder than the previous double strung mandora due to higher string tension. Here it being played https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDTTCMlyWLk also here being played in a modern ensemble: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuD9usuPzUoye1SM-ZnJOPA

£1335 ( optional pickup is an extra £110 ) excludes case



Sunday, 29 April 2018

Late Medieval/Early Renaissance Lute





The recent creation of this Late Medieval/Early Renaissance Lute was commissioned by the National Trust for the enjoyment of a wider audience and encourage children not to be afraid to touch a specialist instrument and have fun exploring the sounds. Also it will be played by their resident musician Angela either in lute tuning or slightly adjusted to guitar intervals for playing from guitar music. It's an area which i have been banging on for a few years now so was happy to make this instrument available to be enjoyed in the setting where it was originally played perhaps by Queen Elizabeth herself at Knowle.

The woods used are European Ash and pear wood with Alpine spruce so no exotic woods used at that time and is based on iconography and paintings from the late medieval/early renaissance. The body shape based on a wooden sculpture of Pythagoras playing a small lute and barring based on Arnaut of Zwolle's technical drawing of a late medieval lute and some serviving early renaissance lutes. Popular tunes are played here which hopefully will be enjoyed in Knowle for the visitors to enjoy:)