The Journey

February 14, 2019

It’s been a while since I’ve shared my thoughts to the world.  I haven’t been too focused on sharing - other than pictures and short videos on Instagram.  My full attention fell all on the guitar build.  It became more real for me back in November - when we had planned to have the guitar done by Christmas.  Time was running out.

 

Constructing the guitar is one thing, having a guitar that actually sounds incredible, has ease of playability, an absolute responsiveness to Noel’s playing style haunted me all the way up to the handover at the end of January.  Even though the handover process was memorable, in my head I couldn't help but focus on the deficiencies.  I haven’t really expressed this to anyone until now, but I am nervous and experiencing a sense of anxiety.  I ask myself, are my luthier skills good enough?   Did I properly voice the guitar top?  Did I do enough research and homework or maybe none at all - only to gamble on final outcome of the guitar sound and playability for the concert.  I even asked myself, " Am I a 'wanna be' luthier? Is this really something for me!?? Is it possible to turn back and take on something else?"  As you can see my confidence as a luthier is being challenged.

Being aware of these thoughts, over the past week, I felt a dying need to overcome this stress and anxiety.   I searched on the internet, read a tonne of articles on what makes a good guitar, watched countless videos.  Part of my journey to find answers included Noel and I having the opportunity to experience two professional guitarists share their passion for music and their relationship with their guitars.  I was truly inspired by the two gentlemen of Brazil Guitar Duo - Joao Luiz and Douglas Lora.  Over two decades of playing together,  fussing the particulars, overcoming incredible challenges like getting a 30 minute piece written for them and having only two weeks to practice for a prestigious concert with Yo-Yo Ma. The commitment to their craft was evident. 

 

I really believe this was my tipping point.  To experience impeccable guitar skills, and more importantly for me, experiencing what a phenomenal guitar actually sounds like.  Being a part of this workshop ignited the need for me to continue my commitment to this craft.  To constantly improve.  Improve through learning, absorbing, circulating amongst other musicians, luthiers, even some of the best. 

 

In my most recent research, like two days ago, I discovered a luthier out of California.  A luthier who most definitely dedicated his life to the handmade guitar.  His name is Ervin Somogyi.  Having read about his journey, his early years, I see many similarities to what I'm going through.  The trials, struggles, a sort of depression that can either stop you in your tracks or make you fight for more and hopefully overcome the hesitation.  In his case, he truly conquered the criticism, the failure, and his hesitation.  He is now one of the premier builders of the whole world.  Ervin pushes the limits of the craft.

 

Out of all this, I discovered that without a sense of failure, challenge, or struggle, you may never discover the 'what if'.  I'm putting myself out there.  I may fail, I may not.  More importantly I'm learning, I'm growing.

 

-- Cliff

 

From challenge comes change.  I need to push my limits of the craft. 

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