Sunday, 10 May 2015

Carolan Guitar Visit

Time to revive this site! Not that I have any. Time that is. Music there has been plenty, so hopefully you might pick up some of it here in the near future.

Something very new to begin with! This week I'm test-driving a brand new type of guitar - the hand-made "Carolan Guitar", or the 'acoustic guitar that tells its life story'.

This extraordinary guitar forms part of a project run by Steve Benford et al. for the Mixed Reality Laboratory - School of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham.

Let me explain. These people developed a whole new type of guitar-experience - not in the playing, but in the meta-experience: The sharing of ideas, the artistic set-up, the fame and the fortune, all attached to a single instrument.  I'm happy to see that this beauty has been in the hands of quite a few people already - and the fact that you can go and 'ask' the guitar to show some of the little films they made playing it is quite a thrill. So, many thanks to Alan Chamberlain for picking me as the next person in line to try and figure out its many possibilities.

The first eye-catching feature of this guitar is its beautifully designed patterns. And its these patterns that turn this guitar into a marvelous box of possibilities: Every intricate knot contains a code that can be read by your smartphone and lead to some different experience. More on this later.

Actually, my first experiments consisted of just using the guitar as a straightforward instrument - how does it feel to jam on it as an acoustic guitar? The strings are new and still sound a bit brash (I prefer that old-string warmth - or I'm just too lazy to change strings ...), but you can't really blame the guitar for that. The action feels great, and for an acoustic guitar, it's very comfortable to play.

A quick video here (this guitar comes with its own camera -- not attached I have to say, but travelling with it in a small suitcase) of me playing an 'old hit' - just testing whether the guitar can be funky.

"We All Fall For That", played on Carolan Guitar from Geert De Wilde on Vimeo.

Time for some breakfast now :)

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back - long time, no music shared so nice to see you've returned with a new toy (and a new studio?). Love the sound of the guitar - hope all the fancy gadgets work!