Years ago, when I was introduced to Mimmo, his story was chillingly similar to mine. As I had made a major transition from what I actually wanted to do this life time so sickeningly attracted to the flying machines to instead become a student and eventually a custodian of the gurus’ traditions, he was an engineer who got smitten by the art of making gut strings. Our similarities did not begin or end there – as I was meeting the last luthier (instrument maker), the last percussion maestro, the last people with the memory of the songs of the gurus – he was met with the last living exponent of gut string making in Napoli. He has recipes of how they transformed dead animals guts to live and vibrant tannd (gut-string), on beautifully handcrafted and shaped musical instruments, from the 12th century, the medieval and modern eras. The masters throughout were such romantics! The sixth string on the rabab is a master stroke by Mimmo – what would I be without my friends so endearing and precious!
In order to specify the strings of the rabab I have made for Harbhajan Kaur Khalsa of Millis, MA I visited Mimmo’s factory the day before (and yes, I missed the boring Portugallo-Spagna semi-finale) on June 27, 2012. I also met with master classical guitarist Andrea Ferigo of the Conservatorio Di Vicenza who also holds a Diploma in Sitar and also plays the instrument Sarod. Here are some images post-produced by Manpreet Singh:
The Rababa is sounding fantastic (kite nazar na lagg jae 😉 may it not attract an evil eye!) and will hopefully fly comfortably to be with her rightful owner on July 1, 2012.