Losing Sound

For years guitars have been made the same way, but now this could all change. A new music documentary, “MUSICWOOD” looks at the threat of forest deforestation to a very different type of species.

“I’ve been married to my acoustic guitar longer than I have my wife”

— Gale Paridjanian, of the band Turin Brakes.

There’s no doubt that we develop special relationships with our guitars. Now, these relationships are under threat, as the unique woods used to make guitars may be running out.

The Musicwood documentary tells this story by following the Musicwood Coalition, a group of the world’s foremost guitar-makers — Chris Martin (Martin Guitars), Bob Taylor (Taylor Guitars), and Dave Berryman (Gibson) — as they drop their competitive differences and journey together to the Tongass, a remote forest in SE Alaska. The incredibly valuable Sitka Spruce trees that make most acoustic guitar soundboards come from the Tongass, the largest temperate rain forest in the world, and they are being logged at a staggering rate. In Alaska, the guitar-makers meet with the largest private company that is logging the Tongass, and struggle to determine the future of the forest and the acoustic guitar.

As Chris Martin of Martin Guitars puts it, to convince them to change will be “as close to a miracle as we are likely to see in our lifetime.”

The filmmakers get behind-the-scenes in the negotiations in Alaska, film the craftsmanship of guitar-making in the master workshops of Gibson, Martin Guitars, and Taylor Guitars, and frame it all to live acoustic guitar performances from the artists Yo La Tengo, Turin Brakes, Glen Hansard, Sergius Gregory…and many more.

The documentary is the centerpiece of a campaign designed to bring awareness, economic incentive and a call for action to support sustainable forestry.

Watch the trailer on the Kickstarter website
More new videos will be posted throughout May and June 2011. Check, and which are regularly updated with information about the film and campaign.