Those who love music and guitars usually find ourselves transfixed on the fingers of those who play, on the ability of the guitarist, on their speed, technique and fantasy behind the construction of the phrases and the melody of the chords and solos. But, how much of a part does the instrument play in all of this? A bigger one than you may think.
It’s not the same buying an already made suit as it is to have one tailor made. The same thing happens with with guitars. An instrument is much more than a work tool: it’s the source of inspiration, it reflects our style, it’s the answer that we’re looking for.
Marco Omar Viola, master luthier from M.O.V. Guitars has no doubt about it: his experience is at the service of one who is looking for something more than just wood strings, and pickups in an instrument. His magnificent guitars, available in 4 original designs, are the result of a lot of time invested in understanding the woods, studying the sound, learning how to get a feeling of the demands of those who need a one-of-a-kind instrument, no matter the musical genre you want to play.
We invite you to get to know and discover Marco’s craft, his ‘Viola’ guitars strictly Made in Italy and - why not? - so you can contact him to speak about the guitar you’re looking for.
1. How did you get started as a luthier?
My curiosity was aroused thanks to a section ‘ Il Liutaio’ written by Sergio Tomassone in the guitar magazine Guitar Club. It was around 1989-90. But my decision to do this work came about after visiting Gioachino Guissani’s workshop. He makes classical guitars, and is very well known in Italy. When I saw his laboratory, his work bench, the woods, the varnishes, I was fascinated, and it became clear.
2. What inspires you to design and make a new guitar?
It all comes from the demands of the client. we are the ‘tailors’ of sound, we have to customize the instrument to measure. If I like the idea, I keep developing the wood in a more personal way so that, in the end, the result looks a lot like me.
3. Do you look for a certain sound based on some particular reason?
Often the sound I seek is dictated by my musical imprinting, by the references that I was raised with. When I'm working on a guitar, my sound objective changes depending on the soul of the instrument, based on the genre or genres it is intended for.
4.Choose and explain: soul, jazz, blues, rock, pop...or what?
I love them all, even the most extreme ones. The only thing that sets them apart is whether the music makes me feel something or not. I love soul for its passion, the blues for its spontaneity, jazz for its freedom, I love rock for its irreverence and pop because it makes people sing.
5. Are you an artist for hire or a solitary hermit?
I feel more comfortable calling myself a sound craftsman. The real artists are those who play my instruments. I am not a loner: I give form to musicians ideas, but I love making instruments according to my own standards and enjoy it when others share my tastes.
6. What was the last record you bought? And the last one you listened to?
The last one I bought was by Robben Ford. The last one I listened to was Transcendence by the great Devin Townsend.
7. Electric or Acoustic?
Electric because at heart, I’m a rocker and always will be, although I listen more to jazz and that’s why I love making semi-acoustics.
8. What is the secret behind your woods?
There are no secrets but just a lot of experience. To know how to choose woods for their density, weight, grains and elasticity is what makes the difference between a mediocre or an excellent instrument. It’s a question of sensibility, trial and error.
...And TWO HANDS…
9. Why should we consider luthiers guitars over the big guitar makers?
Because the craftsman faces a lot of competition : to know how to understand an order, and satisfy it. A handmade instrument is the answer to a demand and quality, without any compromises.
10. Who plays your guitars? And who would you like to play them?
I’m very lucky because many artists play my guitars: Alessandro Usai, Scott Mishoe, Andrea Cantarelli, Danilo Ciamprone, Francesco Benotti, Andrea Giuliani, Luca Ballabio, and many more. There are many I would like to have play my guitars, among them, Alex Hutchings, Daniele Gottardo, Umberto Fiorentino...but the list is very long, what I’d really like is a monopoly!
- Official M.O.V. Guitars website: http://www.movguitars.com
- M.O.V. Guitars Store on Guitars Exchange: http://guitarsexchange.com/en/shop/movguitars/