Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Recollections (part 2)

It is interesting to see how the personal instruments of the quartet members 'evolved' over the last decade.

Soon after the quartet formed, I upgraded my guitar to a Kohno (No. 30) - an instrument I picked up at from a second hand guitar dealer in Singapore, Michael Ho. It was (almost) love at first sight - or rather, first touch. I was initially targetting a more costly Kohno No.50, but when Michael Ho showed me the No.30 model which he had, I knew I would be taking it home. I loved the clear and defined tone it produced, especially the trebles. The fact that the guitar was 3rd or maybe even 4th hand didn't matter, as it was a quality instrument and could give me the extra motivation I'd needed to carry on my passion of playing the classical guitar.
** Still, I knew that eventually I would need to upgrade to a truly concert-level guitar, especially if I forsee myself playing for the next few decades of my life. The Kohno could easily last me for the next 5-8 years, but I felt I would eventually 'out-grow' it. That was when I decided to do some 'research' and ended up writing to an American luthier named Robert Ruck to be put on his (then) 7 year waiting list for an instrument to be built for me.

Still, back during those years, Michael Ho was the one source who could provide us access to concert guitars. I recalled trying out several Richard Howell instruments he brought in, as well as a Sergio Abreu model. I also distinctly remembered him asking if any of us were interested in a Miguel Rodriguez guitar - but which cost $8,000 - and we were all thinking, "So expensive?? Where got money???". Now looking back, that could've been a steal!

Both OG and our dear fellow guitarist/composer Raj had also purchased their instruments from him at various times over the years.

Yet, curiously, there would always be one particular member (at any one time) who did not own his own instrument.

First, it was Kevin - who insisted on borrowing Moh's Alhumbra guitar for many of our quartet's performances. He just didnt bother to look for a decent instrument for himself. (And when he did go look, the instrument he bought turned out to be an expensive piece of metal - the flute)

Then, when Alex joined, he became another long-term 'borrower' whenever it came to performance time. He relied on Chin Yuen's weird-sounding Bernabe (student model) for his daily dose of guitar indulgence. It was not that he didnt own any instrument - he did - but it was an old, weary-looking (and sounding!) Esteve model which made even the GENUS Prime guitars sound good!

For the longest time, all OG and I could do was to shake our heads in resignation and sigh together.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

U can blog anything but the price ^^


1:18 PM  
Anonymous Westvggp said...

U can blog anything but the price ^^ OG

4:16 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home