What is your favourite instrument? The electric guitar. It is one of the most versatile and expressive instruments that’s capable of producing many different sounds from various analog and digital interactions. It also progresses continuously with new generations inventing new playing techniques and sounds. The guitar has become a cultural and fashion icon, and an art object with the opportunity for design explorations and self-expression.
How many guitars do you own and which is your favourite? Maybe 12? Over the years I have built 5, rescued 3, and 2 are in the works. Do I have a favourite child? Maybe my Stratocaster. I’ve had this for 25 years and modded countless times, like well-worn boots and a diary of my guitar tinkering obsession.
Tell us about the violin you built. I studied jewelry design while in school, and luckily there was a metal shop attached to our studio. I was supposed to make containers for the metalsmithing class, but I turned it into an opportunity to make a stringed instrument, where I could re-interpret the form and construction. I made a jig to hammer an “arch carve” for the top and back, used a peen hammer to simulate curly maple ridges, and sandblasted and sanded the peaks to reveal the “wood grain”. The top and back are joined with 55 bolts on the edges and attached to a central spine/ neck structure resulting in an “open concept” violin. It may have been the most “metal” violin I have ever seen.
What is your favourite type of music? Blues that combine 88% modern blues with 12% melodic vocal harmonies in the mix. I know all music has the power to emote people, somehow blues just resonates well with me. Life is about tension and release, so blues music has that hint of minor tonality mixed in the happy major sound, which is the tension, and the emotive part.
Who is your favourite artist? Lenny Kravitz – a rock star to the core. The man’s got style and attitude, plays all instruments, writes cool and catchy tunes, looks forever young, owns rocking guitars, shoots with a Leica and runs a design studio as well. Try topping that one!
What do you love most about photography? The way it preserves individualism from the vision of the creators. Technical skills aside, it is accessible by everyone and is an art form that keeps evolving as people push the envelope with new technology and creative ideas. I also treasure the opportunity for the poetic representation it affords. You can take someone to your perfect world if you want.