Instruments made of PVC… – A material meditation –

One of the mottos I live by is:

“There are no inferior materials, just bad applications” 

There is much said and done about the materials we use to make instruments. Guitar makers are always in search for the best woods. Precious, figured, quarter sawn with a straight grain. But also other parts, like lacquer, metals and plastics. Have you ever seen grown men completely bonkers over the alloy of 6 little magnets? No? Go to a gathering of guitar makers…

I could write a book about the sense and nonsense of materials used in guitars. Some akers ascribe supernatural powers to certain wood species, grades of carbon, or cellulose lacquer versus french polish…

But in the end it al comes down to the way these materials are used. First to the maker, who has to shape them and compile them into a playable instrument, but also to the player. An Ibanez style guitar with a low action tuned in D may be great for shredding metal, but might be not so suitable when you try to play rythm in an country band. A great musician will be able to pull something good out of any instrument, while a bad player will screw up even the best Strad.

Anyone who makes something has to get to know their materials. Learn their character; strength, weakness, appearance, behavior. And it’s up to the maker to find the right material for the job, to make the most of it. To bring the material and subject into agreement with each other. A chair will need a different design when it’s made of concrete, wood, metal or rubber. Or a different material when you don’t want to change the design. Both ways you can make a good chair, it’s all about the balance.

One example of this is found in this short movie by Nicolas Bras. A multi-instrumentalist and instrument maker, he uses PVC to make flutes. A great inspiration for anyone who makes instruments or music… Just look what you can do with simple materials and a great deal of imagination…

There are no inferior materials, just bad applications...

This entry was posted in Movies, Research, Think different, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Woodworking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Instruments made of PVC… – A material meditation –

  1. meubeluniek says:

    Wat een geweldige video Jan. Super bedankt voor het delen!

    Liked by 1 person

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