There is a mystery hiding behind the inimitable sound of Stradivarius’ instruments. All through the years there have been many speculations: there are those who say that he used special varnishes, alchemies handled down from father to son, or even that the trees that he used contained particular types of wood fungi. In truth, it seems that Stradivari and the other masters from Cremona were first of all experts in selecting the wood, and that they went into the forests in person to choose the most suitable trees. According to a legend, Antonio Stradivari rolled the trunks to select those with the most vibrant timbre. Until today the mystery remain unsolved.
The XIV World Forestry Congress, themed “Forests and People: Investing in a Sustainable Future,” was grandly held in Durban, South Africa from 7 to 11 September 2015. Gathering the world forestry’s sectors every six years, it serves as an important platform for experts and stakeholders to discuss related key issues and explore ways to sustainability. International Wood Culture Society (IWCS) and World Wood Day Foundation (WWDF) also took part in the exhibition and discussions to promote wood culture, a way to remind people that forest is our roots. The diversity of culture and diversity of ecological system are interconnected. We all grow and bind together and therefore, efforts by individuals and groups, big or small, are significant in building our sustainable future.
Those two Kina trees are well-known and long-lived in Damascus, they have remained for many generations and attended many historic phases in early time. They were to be burned, it was the ideas of Mr. Moufak Makhoul to revive them in a certain way, and the Syrian trees never die. As the thickness and height of the trees, the process of engraving is done on the dry and died trees that are more than 130 year-old. The work is not just in related to sculpture, and as well as to give it an aesthetic value, the historic value, and the educational value of how we employ the dry trees instead of burning it. The artists tried to make them a tableau with inscriptions, and asserting the origins of art and civilization in Syria.
Burning Man is a weeklong festival, a mega art event with many levels of presentation to provide a platform to artists to build a variety of wooden installations and structures in a metropolis in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. This documentary film is specifically aiming on an aspect that would inspire the caring relationship between man and nature, and as well as emphasizing on the meaningfulness of men’s encounters with wood.
In this 5 miles sq. of flat alkaline playa, wood does not only serve as the main material for art pieces, but also represents as a carrier that absorbs people’s emotions, cultures, and hopes.
The festival reached to its climax when the fifty-foot-tall giant wooden man falls, at that very moment wood has been burnt to ashes and blown away with wind along with people’s message spreading out to those who may or may not have experienced with wood or woodworking that a green and brighter future is ours to choose.
2015 World Wood Day-Wood Culture Festival was held in Şişli, Istanbul, Turkey. This event comprising wood music, folk art, and other interactive activities offers a great opportunity for the public to approach wood culture.
This Wood Culture tour will introduce you to the primary music genres and wooden instruments in Turkey. The musical culture of Turkey is shaped and influenced by the multiple ethnicities within Anatolia region through out history. It can be categorized into two genres, Anatolia Folk music and Ottoman/Turkish Maqam music. Traditional Instruments also fall under these categories as well. We will explore the materials the instruments are made from, their history, and the bound between the instruments and musicians.
Lin Yao was born in 1987 in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, and started to learn Pipa (Chinese lute) at 6 year old. She is the chief Pipa player in Wenzhou Folk Music Group and a music teacher in Wenzhou School for Special Education. Pipa is a short-necked, four-stringed plucked Chinese lute. It is one of the oldest Chinese musical instrument with a history over 2,000 years. Modern pipa appears as a shallow, pear-shaped body with a wooden belly, along with 29 or 31 frets. The four strings run from a fastener on the belly to conical tuning pegs in the sides of the bent-back pegbox. Its name suggests the plucking direction: pi, "to play forward," pa, "to play backward." The strings of Pipa that once made of silk, are now usually replaced with nylon-wrapped steel.
Mbeng N’tam” means beauty and prosperity. This troupe consisting of traditional dancers aims to preserve the rituals and traditions of Gabon. In order to communicate this message of balance among the human being, the invisible world of ancestors and the nature, they have established an association, KOOL D’AYELE, which lends an outlook to the ancestral traditions through their dances. They have started spreading the Gabonese culture worldwide since 1998.
Enrique Males performs ancestral music, expressing harmony that enriches the spirit and fertilize the country. Through ancient sounds, spiritual songs and dances, such as warrior movements and tender moves that represent fertility, their performances express the spiritual strength of the motherland - Pacha Mama. Patricia Gutierrez represents the woman land of Latin America.
The creative work of Enrique and Patricia is authentic and meaningful. Through their artistic production, people get closer to their own spirit and heart, and further to reflect on themselves and strengthen their identity.
Canadian born multi-instrumentalist, based in Berlin since 2001. Active in the experimental and "echtzeit" music scenes, focusing primarily on low-frequeny minimalism. Member of the plant-based sound research collective Plants and Empire.
David Hudson is an internationally renowned musician, composer, actor and entertainer. In all these areas, his work comprises a combination of contemporary and traditional Aboriginal influences.David’s performance incorporates music, history, cross cultural awareness, education and art and gives to his audience a wonderful and enlightening presentation coupled with information and humor.
John Butler has been playing the uilleann pipes since the age of 16 when he heard them for the first time on the radio and was immediately captivated by their sound. In 2010, Butler decided to set up his own uilleann pipemaking workshop, called “Ceol Pipes”, on Achill Island off the west coast of Ireland.
Barnaby Walters builds and plays the Hurdy Gurdy, a European instrument of ancient origin. The gurdy works like a mechanical violin, with the strings being constantly bowed by a wheel, and shortened in length by a keyboard. Barnaby mainly plays traditional European dance music, as well as modern compositions in a similar style, and a variety of early music.
Created in 2010, the Ecole de Musique de Kirina Band is composed of 6 professional musicians who are teaching traditional instruments at the music school in kirina. They are all from famous families of musicians. Among them, Kora teacher Ladji Diabate, is brother of Toumani Diabate, the world best Kora player who has won Grammy Award. Other members include troupe director Mahamadou Diabate, Balafon teacher Karounga Diabate, Djembe performer Seydou Kone, dancer teacher Oumou Mariko, and also dundun teacher Karim Diabate.
Ustad Amjad Khan & Group is a group of four members playing four different but melodious instruments together. The group performs sarangi the bowing instrument, flute the wind instrument, mandolin the string instrument and tabla the rhythm, and has a rare blend of all the traditional Indian music that can perfectly join every genre.
Tony Brazelton is the founder of North American Alphorn Retreat, and Salzburger Echo. Salzburger Echo, which brings the Alps to their audiences, playing old world and contemporary folk music from the alpine regions of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The band regularly plays some of the largest Oktoberfests in the nation as well as having performed at hundreds of elementary schools across the nation to help teach children about the origin of the music and about the music itself. Tony was the third place finisher at the 2008 international alphorn competition in Nendaz, Switzerland.
Manolis Skoutelis is the third generation of musicians in his family after his father and his grandfather. After completing music studies, he started to act professionally as traditional Cretan music player. Skoutelis is a very famous lyra player and singer around the island of Crete. In addition, he participates in music festivals and social events such as weddings and baptizes. He is also a very good traditional instrument maker. He can play four musical instruments: "lyra," "mandolin," "askombantoura" and "Cretan lute." Some of those musical instruments are very popular in many Mediterranean cultures.
MEZ-ME is the result of more than 40 years of evolution. All of their presentations and melodies are composed of ancestral instruments such as huēhuētl, teponaztli, tlapitzalli, ayoyote, quena and more. As a music group, they try to revive their language, usage of ancient instruments, dances, poetry and in some ways their ancestors' philosophy through music.
Mongolian Girl’s Hoomii Troupe was founded in 2013 and composed of five Mongolian girls: Narengaowa, Chana, Chaolemenggerile, Tunala and Suerge. They specialize in Mongolian’s primitive and ethno music, especially hoomii (a type of throat singing, also known as Khoomei), long tone and traditional musical instruments like morin khuur and tobshuur. The troupe has been taking part in various domestic and international music events since it's founded. Siqinbilige, who performs along with the troupe, is a renowned Mongolian singer who has won several awards of ethno singing competitions.
Dennis Stubbs, the Arizona woodturner that was once a fervent collector of flutes, enjoys playing his handmade flute while strolling in the woods. It is all around his studio and house that a variety of fine flutes can be seen as he has been long drawn into the sound of them. Dennis becomes keen to make Native American style flutes—as a result of his wife’s suggestion. He crafts his works with meticulous hands in a way that is environmentally responsible, turning tree waste into recycled materials. Self-effacing as he is, the IWCS crew could literally feel his passion for wood during the filming.
Five-hundred and three guitars on, Jonny Kinkead continues to pursue his craft with a seemingly undulled fervour. A self-taught luthier, his guitars rank amongst the most prestigious currently being produced. During a career that's spanned forty years, Jonny has witnessed the decline and rising cost of quality timbers, meaning a resourceful approach is essential in maintaing his exceptionally high standards.
The video gives a short overview of small kannel, a traditional plucked string instrument of the dulcimer and zither family native to Baltic-Finnic and Baltic people. It is estimated to be at least 2000 years old, some say even 3000. For almost a hundred years, especially in the Soviet time, it was out of favour, but regained its popularity in the last decade. Mart Aardam is the small kannel maker from Saaremaa portrayed in the video, who has made ca 150 small kannels.
Please meet Kurt Reichmann. He is a hurdy gurdy maker from Frankfurt, Germany. His passion to build this instrument and promoting it have brought him a Federal Cross of Merit and a Musical Instrument Museum which has the largest number of bagpipes and hurdy gurdies. Moreover, he sees himself as a promoter of cultural and musical history. It is very important to him to connect people from different heritage. It was an absolute pleasure to talk to him and be able to get a little impression of what he does and has been doing. Enjoy watching the film!
This story shows how a tree is turned into a musical instrument through the will of Miran Katar, a guitar maker. He had an emotional connection with trees since he was a child and continues to treat wood with respect when building his instruments. In order to understand the wood, he listened to trees. Their whispers. He developed a language only he and the wood understood, a language of music - idioglossia.
Upholding the philosophy of “small production but high quality,” Italian violin workshop Paolo Vettori & Sons has practiced its craft for three generations. Paolo Vettori is profoundly influenced by his father, Dario Vettori, on the techniques, structure and style of violin-making. Now, his children, Dario II, Lapo, and Sofia are working together to continue the tradition established by their grandfather Dario Vettori in 1935.
The concert held in Kulturhof- Schloss Könizon on March 22nd offered a great experience for local people to enjoy the beauty of wood music and to learn more about the cultural background of each instrument. The rich programs were brought forth by Alphorn group Stock Horner, Dulcimer Nayan, Quintet Quair, Zapjevala, and Alphorn Experience.
More information on World Wood Day.
Oud is an ancient string instrument that can be prevalently found in the Arabic world. It is the origin of guitar and is also known as "the prince of Arabic instruments". Mr. Nazih Ghadban is not only an oud luthier but also a performer. He has been trying and experimenting various types of wood in the world in order to make his oud to be qualified as the melodious sound and fell into the category of the aesthetics at the same time.
Drum is a crucial element in the American Native culture; they communicate with the nature, ancestors, and spirits through music flow, drum beat, dance and sincere prayers. Therefore, drum-making is exceptionally rigorous, from timber selection to the thickness of drum shell are all variables that would affect the sound quality of the drum. Red Bird, a drum-maker from Pueblo tribe shares the life of American Indian people and the role of drum in its culture, and explains details and basic knowledge of how to make an outstanding drum.
Florence is famous for its history of being the financial center during the medieval period. It is also considered as the birthplace of Renaissance, the cultural movement has strongly influenced the rest of the Europe and then to the world up to the present day. In Florence, there are many famous churches built with wooden roof; Basilica of the Holy Cross and St. Miniato are two of these examples where the interior wooden structure is painted with patterns and colors.
Apart from architectures, music is another essential element that enriches the culture of Florence. The traditional music instrument, mandolin, is a member of the lute family. It is constructed of several different wood species, including spruce, maple, rosewood and ebony, according to the need in function and the property of wood.
Hidden behind a small grey door is a not-so-ordinary workshop run by three craftswomen. This is where fortepiano being restored. Since its invention around the year 1700 by the Italian instruments maker, Bartolomeo Cristofori, piano has gone through an evolution as time passes. Yet, these artists still exerted all their strengths to preserve its original beauty with their skills and knowledge.
Bucheli and Chlefeli are two charming wooden instruments that are not widely known, and rarely played and manufactured nowadays. Although they are simple and easy to play, the unique sound features enabled them to accompany well with other musical instruments.
Schwyz is the capital of canton Schwyz, which is located in the central Switzerland. It has an area of 53.3 square kilometers and a population of 14,331. German is the main spoken language within the region.
People in Schwyz still preserve many traditional ways of wood use, and musical instrument is one of the examples. Büchel, also known as Alphorn’s brother, looks like a trumpet but has brighter tone, is a handmade instrument mostly made of fine spruce. Chlefeli is another traditional wooden instrument, which is only played during Lent, is a clapping instrument that could only be found in the area of Schwyz.
Apart from instruments, other noteworthy crafts such as armbrust and sledge are also traditional woodcrafts that are still manufactured within the region.
In addition to handicrafts, there are a lot of wooden houses that have stood for centuries in Schwyz, and the oldest among these is the House of Bethlehem. Built in 1287, the house is well preserved and opened to the public as a museum today.