I apprenticed in 1971 with luthier Harley Day in the US, and sold the first guitar I made. Such was my inspiration that I soon set up my own workshop while still in University, where I studied acoustics and historic instruments such as viola da gambas, lutes, vihuelas and harpsichords. In 1974, together with my former mentor, I established the firm Day & Batell Instrument Makers, specializing in historic instruments as well as modern concert guitars. I also taught and lectured on instrument making and woodworking technology in the US.
Today in Berlin I work alone, constructing around 15 instruments per year from my stock of very old solid timbers which I re-saw and season in my own shop. I still work according to traditional Spanish design and construction, but I also build guitars of double-top (sandwich) soundboard construction while preserving the essential tonality of solid tops. My guitars are characteristically Spanish in both appearance and sound, possessing appreciable volume, sustain, balance and clarity. At the same time, I also focus attention on definition of tone, so that individual musical voice lines and harmonies can be easily expressed by the musician and discerned by the listener.
I exhibit my work frequently at guitar festivals, where I often give talks on both general and specific subjects of interest to guitarists, such as construction theory and techniques, the development of modern guitars beginning with Torres, as well as relationships between the modern guitar and other historic and modern instruments. I host a concert series in my atelier in Berlin, presenting both world famous musicians and younger professionals who are beginning their performance careers. Visitors are always welcome for a tour of my workshop and to try my instruments, or to enjoy a concert.
Please call or email for an appointment.