Sunday, 31 May 2015
I'm not sure why, but this "clumsy guitar" really sings for me. It's a reminder that a tortoise shell has been used since ancient times as a resonator box for stringed instruments, such as the lyre and the mbira ("thumb piano"). Tortoiseshell -- in the sense of marbled brown and amber plastic -- is, of course, still a fundamental part of the design of modern instruments, from picks to pickguards.
I won't spoil the effect by telling you what my drawn "tortoise shell" is derived from, but a little lateral thinking may reveal it to you. The whole thing, obviously, is a mash-up of diverse elements.