Just like ugly people, ugly wood gets to make music too. I love that kind of philosophy… Who said a piece of wood has to be nice to be able to produce sounds, and even nice sounds, or melodic ones? I once saw that sentence on an ebay auction of a not so weird instrument, a wishenborne which is the personal version of a Weissenborn made by the astonishing and experimental luthier Wishnevsky.
His basic work rules are:
- Locally harvested woods.
- Total lack of ornament.
- Simple construction.
- Nature isn’t about symmetry, so, why the hell instruments should be symmetrical.
With these few rules, Wishnevsky builds affordable stringed instruments like this wishenborne, guitars, basses, upright basses, mandolins, and even some hybrids such as harp basses or harp guitars. Obviously, I think you shouldn’t expect to have the best instrument in the world, but at least it should be functional. Moreover, maybe you’ll be creative and will do some finish yourself, so that your instrument will be totally unique. One tricky point though, he doesn’t use truss rods in his guitars and basses necks. So, you might wonder how he manage to stabilize the neck and avoids some bad impacts over time.
Here are a few pics of his instruments from his website (clic on a picture to get the full size)
I won’t surprise you if I tell you that I have my eye on a wishenborne because original weissenborns are so expensive. In one hand, because of the cheap cost offer made by Wishnevsky. In the other hand, Pura Fe can’t be wrong playing a wishenborne, so why the hell would I be? As soon as I can, I’ll get my hand on one of these.
Wishnevsky website: www.wishnevsky.com