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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. 
Bill, Andy and Tom's Theorbo.jpeg

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-

https://goodlute.blogspot.com/2020/12/welcome.html

Feel free to check it out!

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