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Michel Aboudib

Michel Aboudib

I was born in Syria and have also lived in France and in the US. I have lived long enough in each of these countries for the different cultures to be part of me and for me to be, in a way, from nowhere.

At a very young age, I was introduced to music and to the amazing world of making things by hand. I studied art and science and even made a guitar before guitar making became my obvious road to follow.

To me, all our senses are involved in our relationship with the guitar—well, usually one doesn’t taste a guitar but smell is important. They all have an influence on what we feel and how we interact with the instrument. And just like the player when they play, making the guitar involves all my senses. The aesthetics, of course, the grain of the wood, the shapes, the colors, build our expectations. There is also the smell of the wood when I work it, of the resins I use in the varnish, and of the finished guitar when you open the case and when you hold it to play. It is already the promise of another world. Then the feel of the wood, the texture of the finish, the response of the guitar to the touch, and the vibrations that carry into your body when you play. Finally, there is the sound, which to me is the most important part since it creates all the relationships, between the player and the guitar and between them and the listener. I listen to each piece of wood I use and I keep listening as I build so that what the player and their audience hear hopefully transcends our world or maybe simply honors it.

I was listening to a recording of an early guitar. The player hit a note and in that single note, as it developed and expanded, it seemed there was a whole world. This is what I aim for, that feeling of substance and of place, almost palpable. I hope I can instill that in the guitars I make so that the player can feel and create their own world.

I voice every guitar with extreme care. I strive to make guitars that are highly responsive with a full balanced sound and a wide dynamic range. I build for rich overtones while keeping great note separation and clarity.

I work mostly with hand tools. I find I have more control that way and I can better appreciate every piece of wood I use.

Located: Toulouse, France

Professionally Selling For: 2 Years

Professional Organizations: Guild of American Luthiers

Shows: Les Internationales de la Guitare (Toulouse, France)

Instrument Types: Steel String Acoustic , Nylon String Acoustic , Electric Guitar

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