FLAMENCO BLANCA Guitar by Marcelo Barbero, Madrid, 1955

Copy by Ian Watchorn 2015

The original guitar was sent to me for restoration several years ago from New Zealand. Because the musical result of the restoration was impressive – an enormous, very rich and varied sound with great clarity and focus in all registers, I have since wanted to copy it. The original Barbero has a very particular “Spanish “quality to the sound, which made it clear why Barbero is considered such a great maker.

The copy was an experiment on my part – my first “classical guitar” - and the thing that really got me interested was that the original is so simply and lightly constructed. The 5 fan bars and the 2 cut-off bars below the soundhole is a layout that can be found in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The light, but robust construction, completely hand-made, down to hand-cut purfling and edging, harks back to another time. But it is not self-conscious “jewellery in wood”. It is quickly made, traditionally assembled, freehand, without a mould. It is simple in its construction and adornment and reminiscent of a much earlier instrument making ethos. There are also signs that materials were not so easy to find in those days – for instance, the fretboard is jointed out of 2 unequal pieces of ebony.

But, the intuitive balance and control of materials and processes reflects tremendous skill and experience, deeply rooted in a tradition that can be traced back four centuries or more. I have tried to make my copy reflect this ethos and hopefully, in this way, approach something like the tonal aspiration of the original.

Postscript:

My copy of the Barbero guitar went missing during transport between Melbourne and Sydney and to dat has not been recovered. If you see it or have any information I would apreciate your contacting me.

 

 

The Original:

026.JPG  033.JPG

 

034.JPG barbero sinclair 012.JPG

040.JPG 044.JPG 045.JPG

049.JPG 051.JPG

052.JPG 053.JPG

 

 

 

 

The Copy:

P5120697.JPG  P5120699.JPG

P5120725.JPG P5120727.JPG

P5200730.JPG P5250769.JPG 

P5250773.JPG P5250781.JPG

P5260785.JPG P5260793.JPG

P5260794.JPG

 

P6080867.JPG  P6100897.JPG  

P6240918.JPG P6240927.JPG 

P6240936.JPGP6240929.JPGP6240934.JPG  

P6291009.JPG   P6291025.JPG   P6291030.JPG

 

 

P6291012.JPG       P6291028.JPG

 

 

P6291017.JPG                P6291019.JPG

P6291040.JPG    P6291041.JPG    P6291046.JPG

 

P6291015.JPG