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Barry Cleveland's May Faves

May 15, 2012
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Building an Electric Archtop Guitar
An Illustrated Step-By-Step Guide to Building Your Own Electric Archtop Guitar

By J.P. Laplante

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.

Loga Ramin Torkian
Mehraab

This music by Iranian-born Torkian simultaneously 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. Six Degrees.

Aaron Novik
Secret of Secrets

This disc by Bay Area clarinetist Novik is pitched as a “Kabbalistic avantmetal jazz sojourn featuring Carla Kihlsredt, 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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