March 21, 2019
It's a handmade double neck guitar/mandolin made of English walnut and English yew. Handmade fret markers. Hand-wound pickups. A genuine one of a kind made by a very much missed man who lost his life to suicide in 2016.
Andy was my favourite Andy, my favourite adult, and I loved him. His love for guitar building came late in life, and I loved sharing it with him. I have endless energy to listen to people go on and on about things they love, and he was exactly that kind of guy. His luthier journey was integral in my own art journey. He spent countless hours showing me his progress, we made things together, I absorbed more information about guitars than I ever thought I wanted to know.
He loved making this guitar, and despite being very critical of his craftsmanship he felt very proud of this one. And it is indeed very beautiful and unusual, just like he was.
He died by suicide on the 9th of May, 2016, with this guitar only steps away from being finished. I collected the guitar from his family after his death and vowed to get it finished and delivered to the man who was to play it. A friend did indeed help, and the guitar was set up and the finishing touches added by a mutual friend in Cambridge.
As for getting to its rightful owner, that is a different story. He is a man named Jeff, a “proper musician” as Andy liked to call him. He was so looking forward to seeing this guitar loved and used. And so Jeff and I tried, but life kept happening. And happening. He changed bands, I had my own chaos going on, and the guitar unintentionally stayed put, hidden away. And life kept happening, as it does.
On April 27th, I am holding my third annual fundraiser to raise money for (and awareness of) suicide bereavement causes. Each year I have had a handmade guitar to raffle off, made by luthier friends of Andy’s. Jeff has decided, and I have agreed, that this double neck belongs in this year’s event. It feels right for it to be finding a new home now. When Andy died, one of his final wishes was for people to donate to suicide and mental health charities in his name, and so it feels beautiful and good to continue doing just that.
Full details of how the Guitar was made can be found here - http://www.tdpri.com/threads/brainy-presents-a-double-neck-something.591071/
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March 18, 2019
March 02, 2019
When people ask me how this whole thing started, I never know where to begin. They probably don’t want to be told a story, but I think the story is an integral part of what I do. So for those who would like to know the whole story of how this project started, hello. I'm Sara - and this is the story of My Blackbirds.