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LGRP Newsletter #4 / May 2016

Leonardo Guitar Research Project
Quarterly Letter
May 2016

Leonardo Workshop

We have just completed our Belgian LGRP workshop where students from our partner schools in Finland (Ikata) and the UK (Newark College) joined us in Puurs for a week of activities. These included visits to guitar luthiers (in Holland and Belgium), an introduction to sustainable forest management (including a visit to the Sonian Forest with Inverde, the Flemish forestry and nature management organization), a demonstration and listening test of Leonardo guitars, a lecture on the history of guitar woods, and a French polishing class. A full agenda, but including sufficient time for some cultural activities including visits to Brussels (Musical Instruments Museum) and Mechelen (Beiaard school), and not forgetting a memorable musical evening with Ralph Bonte and Joe Mullen.

Breakfast with the Mayor

During the week the workshop participants had the opportunity to meet and take breakfast with the mayor of Puurs. The below photo of the event accompanied a very positive article on the project in the Gazet van Antwerpen (May 12, Mechelen edition).

Project Board Meeting

At the end of the workshop week we also had the opportunity for the Project Board members to meet, review progress on the project, and focus our actions for the next few months. Key focus areas for this next period are on completing the Intellectual Outputs (a key requirement of the Erasmus + funding program) and finishing the guitars that will be used in the comparison test by end December.  Comparison testing in the 3 schools will be carried out across Jan/Feb 2017 in order to have results available for our deployment event in April.

Leonardo Event/Cordefactum

The results of the research and the Intellectual Outputs of the LGR Project will be shared with the broader guitar community in our Leonardo event. This will take place directly ahead of the Cordefactum weekend in the Music Academy of Lier, a wonderful location is a delightful town, so keep your diaries free across April 14-16 2017.  The Friday will be dedicated to LGRP with lectures, demonstrations, exhibition and an evening concert.

What’s this?

Some of you may have seen this equipment on a bench in the workshop. It is a creative modelling experiment being run by Jacky Walraet and Kristof Meeus to assess the stability of various non-tropical (and some tropical) woods to deformation under stress. Each wood sample is designed to mimic a guitar neck held under a typical tension (ca. 37kg, equivalent to the tension on a classical guitar). Deformation measurements are being taken periodically over the next months and years. This will give us valuable information over which of the non-tropical woods are most suitable for use as neck woods.

American Lutherie Article

Many of you will have read the article ‘Tropical versus Non-Tropical woods for Classical Guitars’ that was published in the magazine American Lutherie last quarter. A recent scan of the internet shows that the article has generated substantial interest with numerous blogs, websites and online magazines actively referencing the project. We are seeing favourable comments and responses from around the world including Australia, Japan, Europe, Canada and the USA. Read the article on the LGRP site.

Peter De Rop
Leonardo Guitar Research Project Co-ordinator




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