Les Stansell -Guitar Maker’s Path DVD Review

Les Stansell | 2010 | Guitar Maker’s Path DVD Review |

Les Stansell guitarsWe present and highly recommend viewing the pdf version of this article first as it contains the most up to date information and more photos.
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Les Stansell is best known for his exceptional flamenco guitars crafted from Port Orford Cedar. His involvement with the wood is from harvest to finish and he was first on my list when I had to research Port Orford Cedar as well as Myrtle (see the Port Orford Cedar profile here and the Myrtle profile here) Les very kindly took a little time out of his very busy build schedule to speak to us about these tonewoods and his building philosophies.

You can read an interview we did with Les where he shares his building philophies: here.



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Guitar Maker’s path is a 20 minute photo documentary written by Les Stansell and photographed by Joe Curren. The time lapse photography is painstakingly knitted together, following the journey of one of Les’ all Port Orford Cedar Flamenco guitars. Seen from a bystander’s point of view, from the breaking down of a log segment to the final performance, every step is beautifully captured by Joe Curren.

The black and white photography is perfect to capture the detailing and fine work Les performs and also helps to focus the viewer’s attention on the tasks at hand.

The entire experience is wordless but accompanied by a selection of flamenco tracks by Grant Ruiz and Terry Longshore . The music seems to drive the build process along and is timed well, with transition periods coinciding with the more mundane portions of a guitar build. Overall the effect is an intimate view of the process of building a fine handmade guitar. Certainly commentary would fill in a lot of the knowledge details, but also detract from the overall mood.

There are some extras, namely an introductory, colour video on Pistol River Beach where Les is based, a hauntingly beautiful landscape where the soundtrack really works wonders. There is also a video clip of a tango with Stansell, Ruiz and Longshore performing as well as Monica Carnicero on dance duties. As a true video, it is very professionally shot and performed. As Flamenco music is primarily very emotive and dynamic, it is a great view into the essence behind the music, which of course drives Les to build such handsome guitars.

At just US$15 for a copy it is a fabulous value for a high quality production of a rare glimpse of the birth of a guitar.

You can get a hold of your own copy of the DVD here.

You can read an interview we did with Les where he shares his building philophies: here.

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Les Stansell guitars

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Links:
Les Stansell: http://www.stansellguitars.com/

Joe Curren Photography:
www.JoeCurrenPhotography.com
Les Stansell Guitars. Luthier Interview: http://guitarbench.com/index.php/2009/04/29/les-stansell-luthier-interview/

 

©Terence Tan.
Pictures courtesy of Joe Curren and Les Stansell ©.
Video copyright original authors.
Disclaimer and declaration: DVD offered for review unsolicited by Les Stansell. No funds or financial recourse was accepted for this review. Guitarbench.com is not part of an affiliate scheme with Anton and does not receive financial incentives for the sales of DVDs or mp3s.

Any infringement of copyright or errors is entirely unintentional- although we try very hard not to make them. Any issues should be address to: writers@guitarbench.com. We will attempt to resolve these issues quickly.

Steve Baughman, Robin Bullock, and Al Petteway were all extremely gracious with their time and advice. I have attended the Swannanoa
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