• A Visit to the Montreal Guitar Show: Jerome Casanova

    June 21, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    DSC_0074Along with the Jazz Festival, Montreal hosts the annual Guitar Show. Imagine dozens of masterful luthiers and their creations in one convention- center-sized room, as itchy-fingered players and wanna-bes descend upon them. For the ears, there is no buzz (or strum) quite like it. For the eyes, it's a feast as well, and for the possibility of meeting dedicated, fascinating, Canada/France/US craftsmen and women, unparalleled. I'll share some conversations from the 2009 Guitar Show as we prepare to go to Montreal in 2010. Photos are by Lauren Zarambo.

    First, French luthier Jerome Casanova bravely speaks in English about his unique "Astroh-guitar."

    Listen as Jerome Casanova tells about, and demos, his guitar here:

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    My name is Jerome Casanova. I come from Clermont-Ferrond in the center of France, and I make a copy (copies) of ancient instruments. This one, it’s a copy of an ancient instrument, invented by Augustus Stroh, an Englishman (oops) , the "concepteur" of the gramophone . . .

    Read about Stroh, who was German, and the Stroh violin, on Wikipedia here

    . . . and he adapted (invented) this system of acoustic instruments. He make violin. “Stroh-viol” is the name of the violin with this principle. And he make ukelele, cello and guitars. Today there is just one guitar of Stroh, in a private collection in the US. And with two friends, I created, re-created this model. The name is the “Astroh” guitar. It’s a unique model, it’s an original model. It’s a new sound with an ancient concept.

    Do you play it? Yeah, yeah, it’s possible.

    And he does! Click on the audio (above) to hear the strings of a guitar feed their sound through the bell of a trumpet.

    In tomorrow's conversation, guitarist/writer Bill Milkowski talks with Linda Manzer, guitarmaker to the stars, i.e., Pat Metheny, Julian Lage and others.

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