Friday, June 13, 2008

Another lute picture

Another picture of my new lute has just arrived from James its maker, this time of the sound board and rose. The wood, slow growing spruce from somewhere cold and dark, so the grain is fine, is plane to just over a millimeter in thickness, then carved freehand. Interestingly the patterns or knots that were used retained their ancient Islamic origin, even when the instrument had become thoroughly westernised, and was central to western secular music. It illustrates the power of tradition, even in the hands of craftsmen who do not understand it!
The geometry is supposed to say something specific about the infinite nature of God, but I haven't studied it yet.


Anonymous said...


Will you be posting a few mp3 files? I know we'd all like to share you talent!

I'm a (rather poor) guitarist and have gradually been moving over to play classical, including some mean Bach! However, when playing, the paucity of strings on a guitar has come to bother me. Then I thought of a lute. Maybe I'll get to switch over some day. That is, of course, if my stubby fingers aren't a problem (this could be the Lord's way of telling me not to soil the beauty of the lute's sound with my fumblings). ;)

In Christ.

bernadette said...

You want the chords for "Colours of Day", don`t you, Fr Blake. It`s D, G then A. Then adapt as you see fit. It doesn`t make much difference. As long as everyone feels good.

Happy Luting.

Roses and Jessamine said...

That's beautiful. It reminds me of the structure of snowflakes, Tibetan Mandalas, and the rose. The first thing that strikes me is the harmony of it; the wholeness of the parts. The second is the repetition. Geometrically, I can see 6 angles in the centre 'star' with the 7th point at the centre. This pattern is repeated, with 6 quadrilateral shapes going back to the 7th at the centre, then 12 quadilaterals going back to the 13th at the centre, and so on ... into infinity. There's something very rhythmic about it, like music.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Yes, you are quite right, on the most superficial level it is a pattern, a stylised rose, but the geometry, of which this is the centre, goes on ad infinitum, the orderliness too goes on and on. It is an icon, but as you say it is also about music itself, but music itself beomes an icon because of its measured order, harmony and infinite variety.

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