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It Starts with a Tree

Perhaps it starts on a cold winter day and a tree is harvested. I say "harvested" because there are trees that are simply "cut down" and disposed of and then there are trees that are harvested. This means that their wood is used for something. And, that something could be anything useful from a work of art to a pallet.

For our discussion, that "something useful" term takes on a whole new meaning if it is a musical instrument! When wood becomes music, something wonderful happens. Don't you think?

I think I told you before how I received my baptism into lutherie. And, as is frequently the case with many new converts, I immediately became a backslider. My first musical creation was soon relegated to a closet. I was not born again until fully two decades later.

But, oh that first time! I refer to that first time when I completed that McSpadden kit back in 1995. I strung it and the first time I plucked it; a pleasant musical note came out. I remember what I said. I said, "Holy crap! It works!" Perhaps not the most eloquent of first utterances one might expect on such a spiritual moment and especially from a preacher, but I was both surprised and awed.

But it starts with a tree. Then the tree becomes a log. And after a log, it becomes plank. And after a plank, a board. And then it becomes a veneer and the veneers are put together by somebody like me to become a musical instrument. And, someone adds strings and it sings.

What-do-you-know-about-that?! When you play your instrument, don't take this for granted. Remember that it started out as a living breathing entity. Something of that living and breathing continues through your playing.

Don't stop!

It is better than becoming fire wood.

Gary Bell President

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