Thursday, 31 May 2018


New! 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.


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

£1445, excluding 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:)