A Journey from Player to Maker
My own background in creating physical objects comes from working in my teens as a draftsman, designing and creating crude musical objects since my childhood. Starting off as a drummer and guitarist. It's interesting to note that even as a teenager, a friend gave me a cheap electric guitar that he no longer wanted and the first thing I did was take it apart! Later, I was transfixed by the sound of classical guitar which led to the lute many years ago.
As a player of the lute, theorbo and baroque guitar, I have been afforded many playing opportunities with excellent musicians and ensembles. I have also had the opportunity to play many excellent instruments built by masterful builders along the way.
Several years ago, in a rush of creative energy and dearth of immediate continuo gigs, I made myself a crude but functional instrument, which led to another instrument, which led to another… I seemed to have a nascent aptitude for building, but more significantly, I had been bitten by the bug.
As a maker, my approach comes from having been a player for a long time. I aim for the qualities that I personally value in an instrument- action, sound and aesthetics- in that order. After all, a great sounding lute isn’t much if it’s too hard to play… and a beautiful lute isn’t much if it doesn’t sound good.
Today, I run my humble shop in Inverness, Florida, in the midst of what's know as the "Nature Coast" and horse farms. My stock of wood is aged and well-seasoned, including much of my tone wood being over twenty years old.
Please feel free to reach out if you would like to discuss an instrument.
As a player, I was fortunate to study lute, theorbo and continuo practice with Douglas Freundlich, Catherine Liddell, Pat O'Brien and Stephen Stubbs. Numerous performance opportunities with the Boston-based ensembles including Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra, Cascata, Long and Away, La Donna Musicale/Rumbarroco and Consort Conspiracy as well as being featured as guest soloist with Boston-area ensembles Concordia and Ars et Amici. I have performed in song recitals in the United Kingdom and in operas by Cavalli, Duron, Caldara and Purcell.
Playing one of my theorbos before handing it off to a customer while enjoying the hospitality at Andy Rutherford's workshop. (Photo by Kenneth Be)
I also have a lute-centric blog, "What Would Dieffopruchar Do?" that includes challenges, hypothesis, observations and an occasional attempt at humor-
Feel free to check it out!