WHEN a well-known, successful musician needs a one-of-a-kind guitar, Port Stephens is the place to make that happen.
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Somerset Barnaby, a blues musician who has toured around 30 countries in the last four years, ordered a very special custom piece from guitar manufacturers, ASD Guitars Australia, complete with some meaningful Indigenous artwork to finish it off.
Andrew Duncan of ASD Guitars Australia, based in East Seaham, created this very unique guitar. and Aboriginal Artist Peter Kafer added his artistic expertise to finish off the masterpiece.
Andrew Duncan began his dream ten years ago, with a desire to build some of the best guitars in the world.
He wanted to create something different that pushed the boundaries of traditional guitar design.
He made the first two bent arch-top prototypes with a completely redesigned sound board supported by balsa wood and carbon fibre, which is driven and made to vibrate from a downward pressure like a gypsy jazz guitar with a floating bridge as opposed to most fixed bridge guitars which pull up on the sound board.
Also making them different is the Tune-o-matic bridge which allows a player to adjust the intonation of the guitar which generally cannot be done on normal acoustic instruments. Andrew Duncan told News Of The Area, “Ultimately the aim is to make high end instruments for musicians that have that quality of feel and sound.”
“To create, inspire, and accomplish.”
“This special guitar for blue musician Somerset Barnard is now in Vienna, Austria and is being played around the world,” he said.
Somerset had seen some art by local Aboriginal Artist Peter Kafer and requested some art on his guitar.
After discussion by the three, it was decided that Peter would paint a story on the back of the headstock, so as not to disrupt the flow of the timber, some of which are very old, including what Andrew describes as the ‘finest Tasmanian Blackwood you’ll ever see.”
Peter named the guitar ‘Guwiyn’, meaning ‘Spirit’ in Worimi language.
He told News Of The Area, “I was honoured to be asked to do this special piece, and it is also wonderful that my painting will now travel all over the world.”
“I know Somerset loves telling the stories of the spiritual connection.”
By Rachael VAUGHAN