1993 Bachelor of Music, Composition California State University, Northridge
1995 Film Scoring UCLA, ext
1995/96 Society of Composers and Lyricists Mentoring/Internship with-
Alf Clausen- The Simpsons
Jay Chattaway- Star Trek
Steve Bramson- Jag
Dan Foliart- Home Improvement, 7th Heaven
1996 ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop
2003 Romanillos Guitar Building Workshop Siguenza, Spain
2005 Romanillos Guitar Building Workshop Siguenza, Spain
In 2003 and 2005 I studied Spanish guitar construction with Jose Romanillos in Siguenza, Spain. It was a great privilege to learn from a warm hearted and generous master luthier who had a vast knowledge of the history of guitar construction. It is my goal as a luthier to capture the sweet, singing sound of the Spanish guitar. This is the sound optimized by Torres and Romanillos.
My Experience studying with Romanillos has not only shaped my ideas about sound, but my aesthetic sensibilities have also been greatly influenced by his work. To behold a Romanillos guitar is an incredible experience both sonically and visually-functional art at its best. I like to use natural colors for my inlay. The palate of colors in nature is amazing, and un-dyed woods make a guitar much statelier. I’m always striving for the balance of form and function; the harmony of tonewood and tasteful decoration that makes a cohesive statement. Other notable influences are Francisco Simplicio, Vicente Arias, and Enrique Garcia.
The guitar is an instrument of incredible subtlety. Its dynamic range is small and compared to most orchestral instruments is volume is slight. However, the guitar is the only melodic instrument other than the human voice that is made to speak using only the player’s body. There is no bow, key, reed, or mallet used to make the guitar sound. There is only the flesh on the string. Therefor, the guitar is the most transparent means to communicate the intrinsically amorphous thing that is music. Only the body and the sound of the guitarist interact with the guitar to make music.
Music is the most intangible of all arts. Music is a fleeting idea that floats on air; an energy that emanates from the unknown origins of our hearts and souls. We have all heard, at one time or another, amazing and unheard music in our minds. Just as quickly as these wondrous things appear, they vanish. It is for this reason that every culture on Earth has created some sort of instrument to allow these sounds to be brought into the physical world. We must communicate the beauty we feel in a way that words cannot grasp.
The powerful way that music touches us with its unique way to communicate wordless emotion requires an instrument that is sensitive to the players touch. The bond between the luthier and the instrument they create is an important factor in this equation. There is a tangible energy that comes out of a handmade instrument; that extra bit of love and care- the spirit of the luthier is captured by the guitar they build. This is what separates the handmade guitar from the factory made guitar. One can feel the difference in every note.