Whether you are a budding
archtop builder, or, like me, simply curious
as to what is involved, you’ll find this highly
detailed and copiously illustrated 183-page
guide quite interesting and informative. Written
by a master luthier, it steps you through the
process of constructing a medium-sized instrument
with a Venetian cutaway and laminated
top, back, and sides—with various tone woods,
hardware, inlay, pickup, and other options. LP.
This music by Iranian-born
references and transcends
the Persian classical tradition.
The result is a
compelling new form that retains much of that
music’s idiomatic identity and emotional depth,
while infusing them with a contemporary feel
and modern production values. Playing a small
orchestra’s worth of stringed instruments—
including electric guitar and GuitarViol—and
accompanied by master vocalist Khosro Ansarl,
Torkian has crafted a sublime musical experience
rooted in ancient soil, yet yearning for the heavens.
This disc by Bay Area clarinetist
Novik is pitched
as a “Kabbalistic avantmetal
jazz sojourn featuring
Fred Frith, Ben Goldberg & more.” That about
sums it up—with “more” being 13 additional
musicians, including string and horn quartets.
Inspired by the writings of 12th Century mystic
Rabbi Eleazar of Worms—and developed by
fusing classical compositional techniques with
Kabbalistic exegesis—this singular, and, at times,
bizarre work is rife with mystery and intrigue,
and is augmented by Frith’s brilliantly sculpted
guitar parts. Tzadik.
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