Monday, July 15, 2024
Guest ContributionsOn the Road with Mike Murchison

Wood, metal, flesh

Photo: Mike Murchison

When raw wood, uncured, unshaped and non-conformed is selected for a purpose yet to be determined; when iron ore is dug out of gigantic mines across the world and forged into strands of metal of different gauges, their use yet to be determined: there will show up someone who will know their purpose, and have a vision.

Hours of shaping, shaving, bending, curing and polishing: all by hand. All by heart.

“Steel, wood, wire” Photo by Mike Murchison

And all by soul.

Every tree will have a story to tell, long after it has been cut. Every strand of phosphorus metal will have a unique vibration when pulled tight.

It is when the wood from the tree, the phosphorus metals from the mines come together with the skill of the builder that the story begins to be told.

It starts with the kid who first walks into the music store who realizes the latest Xbox suddenly has no appeal. When that kids’ ears hear someone manipulating the strings, and he hears the voice that shocks his senses.

It’s the pain of building calluses on the fingertips. Contorting fingers into shapes unfamiliar. Splitting the brain’s ability to manipulate the left hand one way and the right hand another.

Raw materials. Put into a set of raw hands. A love affair, a journey begins. A friendship, a shelter from the storm and voice to speak what the tongue fails to render.

“Well, I got this guitar and I learned how to make it talk.”

Play on…

The flesh – the instrument makers. Hands-on Music Company, Bowmanville. Photo: Rita Smith