Art of Guitar in Santa Cruz Includes Dali-like Playfulness
A guitar-art exhibit that opened this past weekend in Santa Cruz, California, features some strange-looking creationsâ€”none stranger than luthier Fred Carlson's "humanitar."
New York Times environmental reporter Andy Revkin, whoâ€™s also a guitarist and songwriter, snapped this picture of Carlson's pieceâ€”a playful amalgamation of harp, guitar, and dancerâ€”Friday while in Santa Cruz to speak at a national climate-science conference. Fortuitouslyâ€”at least for a science journalist who moonlights as a folk singerâ€”the Santa Cruz County Art of Guitar Exhibit and Festival was going on at the R. Blitzer Gallery.
â€śIt's amazing how Santa Cruz, in part because of the pioneering luthiery leadership of Richard Hoover at the Santa Cruz Guitar Co., has spawned such a galaxy of great builders,â€ť Revkin said. â€śNo one among them quite matches the Dali-style sculptural approach of harp guitar specialist Fred Carlson, though!â€ť
Carlson is known for inventing what he calls the â€śsympitar,â€ť a six-string with a dozen tunable sympathetic strings running beneath the fingerboard. You can see more of them on Carlsonâ€™s website. Also coming soon to Revkin's Youtube channel: a mini-doc on the festival that focuses on Carlson's work. And look for upcoming video of Revkin playing from his new album A Very Fine Line in AG's Acoustic Cafe.