Saturday, 15 August 2009

Heavily Modified Unknown Guitar


Recently I asked my friend Philo what was his trick to play guitar with a bow, something I know he does frequently. It's been a few years since I met him and saw him on stage, so I forgot his "secret", and I understood when he sent me this picture and a detailed description.

So he rebuilt a guitar to make this hybrid: he carved a bridge inspired by cello's, just wider and shorter, raised the tail piece with a block of wood, changed the inclination of the neck, unfretted the fingerboard, moved the neck pickup and put a piezzo at the bridge. From the pic it seems that this guitar had also a little bit sawed off but I don't know if it was part of this process! He mixes bass and guitar strings and created his own open tuning.

The mod looks a little bit rough, but Philo is a musician and not a fetishist, so once he has the sound (and the sound he has!), how it looks doesn't matter (I hope I was so free minded!). Philo is a French guitar improviser, a hero of the shade haunting the impro noise free jazz French scene for two decades, he's also an excellent photographer dedicated to impro, who shot the greatest musicians and dancers in a very personal way, and - nobody's perfect - a clown. And he's my friend, though it's been years since last time we had a good dueling guitar concert together.

(I didn't put any effort into identifying the guitar, it's not so important, but I'm sure that someone will and tell it in the comments).


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