Journey to an unknown land

And the quest for an oriental tzoura!

Tzouras design:Created with 3D software by SDimis
Before my new bouzouki's journey has come to an end, and after taking the decision, the instrument to remain at Giannis Tsoulogiannis hands, until late September to early October, (so the construction has been bound and cured, and the high summer temperatures have passed), I have already started to plan a different journey,which leads me deep into the land of Asia Minor up to the Middle East, looking for the sound, and unique design of a three course oriental tzoura .

What I am looking for, is a unique shape & design of "gonato" tzoura made by very old mulberry woods.The greatest challenge for the luthier will be, to generate a combination of the oriental hoarse sound of outi & Turkish saz at the lower scales (bass), and the sweet tune of three course rebetiko bouzouki at the higher ones (treble).

The idea of creating a unique tzoura started at my last high school years.I was the supervisor for the department of the folk music orchestra, and the lead bouzouki player.School had one more department, for the modern music orchestra. Supervisor for it was Nikos Venturas , a professional saxophone player, and Dimitris Giannopoulos, a professional piano musician and very good friend .

We were performing small concerts to public theater and small clubs under the supervision of the school.For one of the concerts, we needed to include in our "repertorio", the beautiful song of the great musician Giorgos Zabetas:"Ήρθα κι απόψε στα σκαλοπάτια σου".(I came tonight at your door steps).
Since I did not know the bouzouki solo for the song, Nikos proposed and invited his friend, a professional bouzouki player, to show me the solo, one day at our rehearsal. Niko's friend came with a very unique tzoura gonato which had an amazing oriental sound.The sound and the "weird" shape of it captivated my attention.I always have in back of my mind the desire to create a unique tzoura similar to the one I had seen and listened that afternoon of 1986.

Now days, continuing the research in traditional Egyptian, Turkish, Asia Minor and Persian musical instruments , I am experimenting on paper with different sizes and shapes of bowl, different design of sound holes , and decorations for the sound board.
I have to find a luthier who is willing to experiment in creation of a unique construction mold for the instrument, spending time in testing the best way to produce and harmonize the desirable sound.


Popular Posts