16 October 2011

Sustainable Strings

 I am staying in a cool musician's flat in Istanbul for a couple of weeks and surrounded by instruments galore. I always have felt most comfortable in and around music and the crafting of both the tune and the instrument are intoxicating to my soul.

Musicwood follows guitar-makers Chris Martin (Martin Guitars), Bob Taylor (Taylor Guitars), and Dave Berryman (Gibson) on their journey together to the Tongass, a remote forest in SE Alaska. Old growth Sitka Spruce trees used in creating acoustic guitar soundboards come from the Tongass, the largest temperate rain forest in the world, and they are being logged at a staggering rate. The documentary goes behind-the-scenes the battle in Alaska to preserve the Sitka Spruce, films the craftsmanship of guitar-making in the master workshops of Gibson, Martin Guitars, and Taylor Guitars, and even has some cool live acoustic guitar performances including Yo La Tengo, Turin Brakes, Glen Hansard, and Sergius Gregory.

One song is titled “Beautiful” by Dan Bremnes is a story about upcycling something old and turning it into something new. Love this message. 

In the search for the sustainable stringed instrument I discovered Jedidiah.  The Luthier's Manifesto published on their website unveils a journey into mindful choices in the quest to produce the ultimate sustainable guitar from materials to final touches.