My Sonic Safari travels have taken me all over the world to document traditional music in many countries. Indonesia is full of awe-inspiring music using colorful exotic instruments. I noted that many “gamelan” instruments of Indonesia have intricate, ornate carvings. The Balinese are especially adept at creating stunning 3D art in stone, cement and wood. I got an idea to use these talents to create something truly unique for my music. Two days before my trip to Indonesia I went to the lumber yard and selected some beautiful thick Oak. I brought the wood back and made a few measurements and then cut out the basic shape of an electric guitar.
I arrived in Bali and went to the small village of Sading to consult with my good friend Buddha. He brought a young man to his house and we discussed carving the guitar. A few days later he presented me with a sketch that looked superb. “Let’s do it” I said…and off he went to his little house to carve. This amazing piece of art took over 1 month to carve using simple hand-made chisels. After the final painting he presented it to me. Wow! I was just astounded.
I carefully transported the guitar body back to Glendale and enlisted my great friend Jimi Yamagishi ( a guitar tech master & great musician/composer). Jimi then mapped out the holes for the electric pickup, controls and neck pocket (to attach the guitar neck). Here is the final result. I think it’s the “Coolest Guitar in the world.”