Friday, June 18, 2010

Barker Bass Brio Bonus; Simon Goulding

Just as your ears can filter out extraneous sounds such as teenagers conversing in the back of the van, or the inane news staff chitchat on local TV which invades the waiting room where you have other things on your mind, so can the eye be so focused that it misses what otherwise might be obvious.

In bringing two Brio bodies to the finish stage, I concentrate on every little mark in the wood, every little corner, every curve. Parts I see; the whole, not.

Hence the delight when these two went into the finish room for their first subcoat of oil. (This brings out color and grain contrast that just aren't present with a clear coat over the raw wood. It might be the visual equivalent of a really good preamp taking a really good signal and making it deeper, thicker, richer.)

A grain figure pattern emerged on one of the basses. This is not a Shroud of Turin kind of moment, just one that provoked a delighted smile and a sprint to get the camera to try to capture an interim look at what will become, I think, the defining elegance of this particular instrument.

The Brio does not own the high ground of elegance of the family of Barker Basses. That is B1five territory, well flagged currently by #95, now owned by Simon Goulding of the UK.

Here's a slice of his bio:

After winning the performing arts school music prize on 2 consecutive years, Simon started working as a pro session musician at the age of 16 and has performed, toured & recorded with many top artists in the world including The Bee Gees, Joe Longthorne, Freddie Starr, Engelbert Humperdinck, Peter Kay, Ronan Keating, David Essex, Tony Christie, The London Community Gospel Choir, The Drifters, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves, Cannon & Ball, Peter Grant, The Nolans, Billy Pearce, Dutch Vocalist Rene Froger, Alan Stewart, The Memphis Belle Orchestra, The Kings Of Swing Orchestra, The Nelson Riddle Tribute Orchestra, The Salsa meets Jazz Collective, Jovenes Clasicos Del Son, Gary Boyle, Tony Oxley, Gary Potter to name but a few. He has performed at new launches for BMW and Mercedes Benz. Add in performances at The M.E.N. Arena (20 sellout nights, over 400,000 people in Manchester UK). Ronnie Scott's Club (London UK), The London Palladium (UK), Las Vegas (USA) and Havana (Cuba), Budapest (Hungary), The Kourion Amphitheatre (Cyprus), Dubai, Abu Dhabi (Ferrari World F1 Grand Prix) plus many more. I am involved with many many different bands live and in the studio. Album Credits include, Simon Goulding “Familia”. Jazzology "Jazzology", Marty Franklins "Kajambu", Munch Manship "12 Pearls", Freddie Starr "Not fade away", Joe Longthorne "Joe's Back", "In Paradise", "Live at the London Palladium" “Sings to the Gods” DVD & Video credits include: Joe Longthorne "Joe's back", "Live in paradise","Live at the London Palladium", “Sings to the gods-live in Cyprus”. TV: "Heaven & Earth UK BBC1".


Simon Goulding = busy bassist.

Like the beautiful grain pattern in the Brio, Simon was there all along. I just hadn't noticed him. Now we've found a bass that fits in his hands and, we hope, his heart.

The Brio is still anticipating such a home.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sam Maloof Rocker, Charles Brock,and Coy, Part 3

Coy got to unveil his rocking chair at the monthly meeting of the Central Oregon Woodworkers, a genial fellowship of craftspeople of all stripes--turners, carvers, generalists, a model maker and restorer, and serious hobbyists. And George, who is so difficult to categorize that we'll have to see a separate blog post after we visit his shop.

It was a riveting moment. All or close to all of these people know a Maloof chair when they see one, though few had heard of Charles Brock or were aware that you could buy digital/print coaching for the construction of one of these works of art. Coy got to share some of his journey, both holding tools and allowing his mind to explore this manifestation of Sam Maloof and his spirit.

In stark and fascinating contrast was a table full of bones--all the parts of my Maloof project were there, but not a single one was attached to another. Next step is the cutting of angles on the headrest, drilling for the spindles, and dry fitting with the back legs temporarily attached to the seat. Oh, the seat, it needs to be shaped too; now it's a rugged landscape of pieces roughed on the bandsaw and far from looking like an inviting place to plunk oneself.

Attendants who are well acquainted with what it takes to get a foursquare piece of wood to become curvilinear and graceful could get a grasp of the hours it would take to go from the relatively easy part of cutting parts to a template to the sinuous sight of the front leg flowing into the arm rest, or the back leg sprouting from the rocker and leafing at the seat, the arm rest and the headrest.

And those rockers! The contrasting maple stacked just so with the walnut. The ebony plugs at the front and back legs. Note the artistic use of sapwood (the white) in the spindles and the seat.

Congratulations, Coy. It's a beauty.

And he wants to build another one.

A newcomer to the group last night was Hans Emmons, who builds and restores models. From his web site I lifted this quotation from Beryl Markham, the 20th century aviatrix who made history as the first person to fly the Atlantic solo from east to west:

"No human pursuit achieves dignity until it can be called work, and when you can experience a physical loneliness for the tools of your trade, you see that other things - the experiments, the irrelevant vocations, the vanities you used to hold – were false to you."