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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A trip to Athens' (2/2) or the Endless Quest for Musical Enjoyment

On my way from Athen's brand new international airport, my friend Georges brought me to visit Dimitris Rapakosius' luthiery workshop... this young, passionate artisan, builds in downtown Athens among the finest ouds, saz and other stringed traditional instruments, having - among others - customers like David Lindley and Ross Daly.

Dimitris opened his dusty, yet lively and busy, no frills workshop and after some chatting, the three Iraqui and Turkish's traditions ouds he had handy began to spread their ancient voices... my primitive playing wasn't on same par than Dimitris, much more fluid and various than mine - hey, I'm a guitar player;-))) - but nonetheless, after some different tuning troubles, my fingers and myself, relaxed enough to give some enjoyment to listeners in the room.

The Engeleman and German spruce tops, the multi-coloured rounded backs, the pegs, the sound, so powerful and delicate, all hinted of a careful workmanship and care for details and customers wishes, also the fanciest (mother-of-pearl inlays...).

Well folks, we planned to begin with a careful restoring of my old, battered Moroccan oud as the entree... a new top in German spruce, new peg-box and pegs to reach a long-gone playability I tasted in Dimitris' fine instruments.

Can't stand in my shoes waiting for the restoring to be completed.

... ahhh, almost forgetting: Dimitris is left-handed... so he plays Jimi Hendrix' style - i.e. - in his case, oud stringed for right-handed, but as a lefty... amazing guy!

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