Sunday, June 08, 2008

Work in Progress: 10 course lute

During Lent I commissioned a new 10 course lute, here is the first picture I have had from James Marriage, my luthier (the link takes you to one of James' grander instruments). The body of my instrument is made of rosewood with holly strips between the ribs, the ethical substitute for ivory, the neck and peg box are veneered in rosewood and inlayed with panels of olive wood, bordered by ebony and holly.
There is still a lot of work to be done to finish it, it needs coat upon coat of varnish and hours of polishing before it is fitted with its 19 pegs for its 19 strings. Each course is double strung except for the highest course which is a single string.
The annoying thing is a few weeks after I commisioned I had a recurrence of a viral thing I get every few years that affects my fingers and walking, it gets a bit difficult typing, hence fewer post recently, and my lute playing is clumsy as I can't quite feel the strings and the Lord gets a bob rather than a proper genuflxion, but like all things it will pass, "then I will praise Him on the ten string lute".


Michael Clifton said...

I have just looked through your recent posts and now conlcude that YOU are the new King of Catholic Bloggers.. You might like to see a little spoof I did on the Hermeneutic on the Hermeutic Feast
(based on Belshezzars Feast) in which that empire falls and you take over as King !!! Sorry to hear about you indisposition.

pelerin said...

I do hope you will soon be restored to good health, Father and you will be able to play your new lute when it is ready.

I was struck today by how small the world seems sometimes. A few years back my brother asked me whether I remembered one of my father's many friends in the music world. He told me that his son Martin had gone to Albania. When I expressed my surprise as to why he had gone there, he told me he was a priest and had chosen to work in Albania.

If fr Martin's father is called John, then my brother is still in contact with him in the music world!

Fr Ray Blake said...

Yes the same, John is in hospital, hence Fr Martin visit. He too has a paralytic illness but should recover in a few weeks.

Roses and Jessamine said...

I too hope you will be feeling better soon, Father, so that you might give us a lute concert.

I had no idea a lute-maker was called a luthier. It makes more sense than a luter (looter).

leutgeb said...

Hope you feel better soon, Fr Ray.

That Lute looks like something very beautiful to look forward to.

Lutenists always looks very serene as they strum away (quietly).

Occasionally seen a theorbo player on the tube. And I thought horn cases were tricky..

Anonymous said...

New Irish Latin Mass Blog

A new blog for an ancient Liturgy. The first few posts are self-explanatory. St. Conleth’s Catholic Heritage Association has been working for the provision of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin since 1995. We’d be very glad if you could (a) post about the new blog and (b) link to it.

In particular, we’d be glad if you could bring to the attention of your readers the news that there will be a Walking Pilgrimage for Vocations on Saturday, 12th July, 2008, commencing at 11 a.m. in St. Brigid’s Church, Milltown, County Kildare, Ireland, with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Missal of Blessed John XXIII) for which the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin has granted, under the usual conditions, the Plenary Indulgence for the Pauline Holy Year.

God bless you!

St. Conleth’s Catholic Heritage Association

gemoftheocean said...

Hope you feel better soon. I'll pray for you especially at Mass tonight.

BTW, is it ethical to use the ivory of elephants who've died a natural death? What if they committed suicide?

PeterHWright said...

"Praise him with the sound of trumpet : praise him with psaltery and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and choir :
praise him with strings and organ."

You can have quite a concert !

Get well soon.

pelerin said...

peterhwright - you make Fr Ray sound like a one man band!!

PeterHWright said...

It gets even better if you use Mgr. Ronnie Knox's translation, which reads " Praise him with harp and zither." I'd love to see Fr. Ray playing a zither !

pelerin said...

peterhwright - Me too!!