Yamil Jacobo, from Argentina will be performing at this year’s Durban International Blues Festival on Sat 21st September- with his band The Yamil Jacobo Trio – certainly a highlight on our international guest list for the festival!
But added to this is the opportunity for our Durban music lovers and collectors of unique musical instruments to purchase one of four of Yamil’s hand crafted Cigar Box Guitars which he has designed and lovingly worked on in the months preceding his visit to Durban – especially for the festival. We hope our Durban audiences take the opportunity to purchase a piece of memorabilia !
Lutheria Sustentable, the name of these beautifully crafted pieces, is the product trademark, and was established in 2012 as part of a prior process of development and experimentation on sets of objects combined with strings, which eventually resulted in instruments called chordophones.
Yamil’s Lutherie is developed on the basis of the concept of sustainability, since it resorts to discarded items such as pieces of wood, leather, bone, among other elements, in addition to the cultivation of gourds which will then be used as raw material for our soundboards.
Through this process of search for unconventional sounds, kora (African harp), erhu (Chinese fiddle), and rebab (Arabian fiddle) replicas have been built, always bearing in mind the premise of improvisation and the notion of just letting each situation and moment happen and go with the flow. This results in the production of absolutely unique specimens through a pure craftsmanship approach.
Some tunings are arranged regardless of established patterns, and this same concept of pure improvisation is embraced when playing the instrument.
Seduced by the profound sounds of the earliest blues, Lutheria Sustentable started to develop its first Cigar Box, an instrument that comes from the USA but whose predecessor originated in tribal communities from Africa, and which consisted of an instrument with a single string fixed by both ends to the instrument body by means of rudimentary pieces of wood.
The first Cigar Boxes, which started to become known around 1840, were very basic instruments, fitted with two or three strings although their three-stringed versions were the most usual ones.
The first specimens of these inexpensive instruments, which were also easy to manufacture, were fret-less so the player relied on the use of a slide held by any of his fingers.
Nowadays Cigar Boxes are gaining popularity and they can be found in very sophisticated versions as well as fitted with amplifier circuits.
In order to create acoustic and electric Cigar Boxes, Lutheria Sustentable has relied not only on recycled cigar boxes converted into soundboards but also on its own manufacturing of handcrafted wooden boxes.
For the elaboration of these instruments, the above mentioned criterion of sustainability is taken into account – thus we resort to items that are easily available in the surroundings such as sticks, bones, pieces of wood and sheet metal pieces, among others.
The so-called open tunings, characterized by chords produced by playing the air, are employed especially for playing with a slide. The most common are the E, D, and G tunings, which can be produced by any musician, regardless of whether he or she is a professional – just a little bit of sensitivity is required.
These usually custom-made Cigar Boxes are manufactured and sold on demand, and their prices may vary according to the model requested by clients.
Their average price is in the range of USD 200 – Translated to South African Rands- in the Region of R3000 and some change.