May 11, 2008


About 5 years ago I happened upon a Glissentar

in a music store where I ummmm just happened to be (happens a lot...) and didn't resist. For those unfamiliar with the instrument, it's sort of a baritone oud (in terms of its string setup, with 5 unison pairs and a single bass string), fretless, with piezo pickup. I haven't really tamed it to my purposes, for reasons that I don't quite understand, and a couple of days ago I came close to deciding to sell it (not something I am in the habit of doing with instruments --I buy them, and have them). I've reconsidered that rash decision, and now I'm thinking about new departures I might assay instead. Since my chequered musical career has been almost entirely acoustic, I'm pretty clueless about what happens and could happen when an instrument is plugged in, but I guess it's not too late to learn. I've found several YouTubish bits that suggest possible directions starting with Robert Godin himself talking about the glissentar:

But how can a player actually use the instrument? It's interesting to see Michael Vick's guitaristic approach, but it's not what I want to do myself:

I'm more attracted to Fatih Ahiskali's approach to the instrument as a variety of oud, and his chops are pretty impressive (he uses both the traditional oud plectrum and an idiosyncratic finger style):

and this, where he ventures into classical guitar repertoire:

and THIS one is really spectacular:

I also found some worthwhile bits on setup and string alternatives (n.b. Savarez Alliance).

Posted by oook at May 11, 2008 09:06 AM