Sonic Sitka Q&A for DJB Guitars

Luthier Facts :
Name: Danny Brown
Location: Bethlehem, PA USA

Status?: Currently Active
Note: (RIYL) Recommended If You Like

What attracted you to the Sonic Sitka Project?
I was actually sort of drafted into it by Julius Borges and of course Denis. However, it’s a great group and a great project to be a part of.

Has this project changed/challenged your approach to guitar building?
No not really but I did decide to build a new guitar shape and also use some special materials I probably wouldn’t have used. Hmmm…maybe that is a yes!!!

Should people care about this project?
Absolutely. It is a great opportunity to compare and appreciate the individual craftsmanship of each instrument involved. If you truly love guitars, you should care.

What are you learning from your participation in the Sonic Sitka Project?
For Denis, Eric and Henry it must be like Herding Cats!

What do you hope to learn from looking at the data collected over the next couple of years?
How each guitar “measures up” of course over time but also if the public chooses to embrace or not embrace the project itself. There will be a great amount of info available and this project could be the starting point for numerous others.

Do you anticipate collaborating more with other project participants on new designs or refinements?
Possibly, it depends on what direction the method or build is heading.

How important do you think using “alternative” or “sustainable” woods is going to be within the next ten years?
Very. I don’t believe we really have a choice. It’s coming!!!

How do you see guitar building evolving in the 21st century?
New materials, different designs, the sky is the limit.

Do you believe that we are holding back the evolution of music?

Should we be deconstructing old instruments for their valuable hardwoods and build new instruments that are completely original?
Each case is an individual and one needs to deeply understand what can and can’t be accomplished by doing this.

Should player’s techniques and needs be the driving force behind design and innovation?
It can be depending on the Artist. There is more than one way to make a great guitar. I think this project may prove just that.

Do you think that luthiers need to keep making guitars based on well-established designs or should they expand the sonic possibilities of the instrument?
Anything we can do to improve our instruments sonically or visually should be considered.

Should players’ technique and needs be driving design and innovation or should luthiers simply strive for innovation?
It may be a combination of both visions.

Pictures ©2009 Danny Brown

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