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1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING COMPETITION ‘ANTONIO MARIN MONTERO’. GRANADA, 26-29 October 2017   You are logged in as Guest
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johnguitar

 

Posts: 175
Joined: Jan. 10 2006
 

1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING COMP... 

http://www.granadaguitarfestival.com/Festival-de-la-Guitarra-de-Granada-2017/Granada-Guitar-festival-2017/1st-International-Guitar-Making-Competition-Antonio-Marin-Montero/

September 30 is the last day for registration for participation in this competition. I personally am counting on this competition becoming an annual event just as the organizers are hoping. Given the prizes, this year's offer seems to be intended for the younger makers and those wishing to get some more exposure to the market. However, there is no reason why in coming years it could not follow the lines of the great instrument making competitions (Paris, Cremona) and become the international reference for great guitar making. Why shouldn't Granada attract the biggest international names in the guitar once a year? In the meantime, I have heard that quite a few makers have signed up already but as the limit is 50 participants there is still room for you to register.

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John Ray
https://www.johnguitar.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 19 2017 7:01:13
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2253
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

The reason Granada should be careful to entertain a guitar making festival of this magnitude is that practically every major country on earth has gotten there already and there is just so much interest for another one.

I think Granada is an icon just the way it has been for generations and to try and change it now is going to be an interesting work that would be risky at best. But I wish them great benefit, and for all associated businesses that support their ideal.

I might add that the burden is on the guitar maker to furnish his product with no reward other than to show up and have his work judged by those who may look for other exceptions to the rule of fine guitars. Who knows?

And of course, I have no reason to subject my guitar, as my 55+years in the business secures my meager out-put, as it is. So, this may sound a little self serving but in reality it is essentially spot on for seasoned builders, as the offer suggests.

I can see the potential for GSI representatives to gain new and up-coming builders for their guitar stocks, as well as keeping prices down for potential buyers in the future.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 19 2017 16:22:35
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12994
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

I personally don't get how they can accept to have say a flamenco guitar compete against a classical guitar....they should have different categories no???

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 19 2017 17:18:24
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2253
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to Ricardo

Ricardo,

Could this be the answer:

·Two labels of different qualification and importance will be given to the contestants after the competition. They can use them in their instruments with reference to the contest.

Perhaps maybe, maybe not.........?

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 19 2017 17:24:41
 
keith

Posts: 1108
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Land of Daniel Boone

RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

looks a little top heavy in the classical guitar field. I guess if one did not win gold or silver one could say they entered a guitar into the competition as part of their marketing strategy.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 19 2017 22:53:51
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
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RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

Is there an exhibition without entering the competition?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 20 2017 6:02:57
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12994
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

quote:

ORIGINAL: Tom Blackshear

Ricardo,

Could this be the answer:

·Two labels of different qualification and importance will be given to the contestants after the competition. They can use them in their instruments with reference to the contest.

Perhaps maybe, maybe not.........?



Ah yes, top qualification and superior importance must mean it was a flamenco model.

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CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 20 2017 11:24:48
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 727
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

they should have different categories no???


Looking at the specifications and the judges this is not just open to flamenco and classical guitars but to all kinds of period guitars “in the Spanish Style”.

If I was in Granada I would be interested to go and see the guitars. I think that it would be a bit like going to the local Pena to listen to the various rounds of their Concurso de Cante Flamenco. I wouldn’t expect to find the greatest singer in the world but I would enjoy the event(s) immensely.

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 20 2017 12:40:21
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

It's in substitute of a trade show. Granada would not want to host a guitar trade show because that would be a conflict of interest with the guitar making business native to Granada, so a competition fills the bill of being an attraction, but does not merchandise 300 other guitar manufacturers and independent makers against local talent. That would be good for the city, but problematic is if backfired on the local guitar makers if crowds came to Granada to see a guitar show which took emphasis off the Granada industry.

A competition creates a reason to be in Granada and lasts only a few days. Pay to play in the competition, good press for Granada guitar industry. The rest of the year the local makers are in full view.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 20 2017 13:20:52
 
Morante

 

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RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to RobJe

quote:

I think that it would be a bit like going to the local Pena to listen to the various rounds of their Concurso de Cante Flamenco. I wouldn’t expect to find the greatest singer in the world but I would enjoy the event(s) immensely.


I used to do this, but I gave it up when I realised that most juries did not understand flamenco and the results were an insult to the good cantaores who did not have enchufe

This makes me wonder who are the judges? Are they guitarreros, póliticos, presidents of Peñas? Do they really know enough to be a reliable judge?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 20 2017 15:11:59
 
johnguitar

 

Posts: 175
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RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to Anders Eliasson

No Anders, as far as I know only the competing guitars will be exhibited. You could write to the organizers and ask them.

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John Ray
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 20 2017 18:25:01
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 727
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

One of the good things about the competition is that the winner has to provide 2 guitars to GSI for €2500 each. This probably means that established makers who can command higher prices will steer clear of the competition.

Competitions are fine as long as nobody takes them too seriously. There are now so many wine competitions with gold, silver, bronze and now even platinum medals that they don’t provide any reliable guide to quality.

I suspect that it will be easier for the judges to reach agreement about the quality of the workmanship than about the sound and playability of the guitars – especially for and flamenco guitars entered. If the judges produce a written account of the qualities they have found in the winner we will get some idea of this.

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 20 2017 20:45:54
 
mrstwinkle

 

Posts: 444
Joined: May 14 2017
 

RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

Is it judged blind? I no longer trust any competition that isn't.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 20 2017 21:02:46
 
johnguitar

 

Posts: 175
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RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to mrstwinkle

No, the competition is not judged blind. I too would like to see it blind (anonymous submissions) but I think I have two choices. As an influencial person in the guitar scene in Granada, either I can criticize it for the aspects I disagree with or I can support it and try to encourage changes in the coming years. I have chosen to do the latter.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 21 2017 5:55:11
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3130
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

I personally don't get how they can accept to have say a flamenco guitar compete against a classical guitar....they should have different categories no???


About the only "flamenco guitar" person I see on the jury is Manuel Cáceres. Jose Marin Plazuelo presumably makes both classical and flamenco instruments. Collett, the president of Guitar Salon International sells both classical and flamenco instruments, but my impression is that he is much more a "classical" guy.

I think there should be separate categories.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 21 2017 7:51:55
 
keith

Posts: 1108
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Land of Daniel Boone

RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

I hope the winners make out well from the competition but having the award winning guitar locked away in a museum for at least a years seems rather odd. I can imagine a scenario where someone at the festival wanting to buy the guitar on the spot but is not allowed and then a year later they have moved on. there is something to the adage of striking while the iron is hot. I also wonder about the condition where GSI buys from the winner at a price that may be under market value. 2500 euros seems pretty low and a gold medal winning guitar (likewise, 2000 euros for a silver) may have cost the luthiers a lot more to produce--in time and supplies.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 21 2017 10:11:33
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
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RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

John,

For future, I would advocate for Flamenco and Classical category, and that a concurrent classical and flamenco guitar players competition be mounted. The winners of the competition in playing get to pick from the finalists in the guitar making competition to take home.

That would be suspenseful and honest. And probably bring more people to town. The organizers of the contests buy the winning guitars from the makers as prizes for the players, plus an honorarium for the players and the runners up in both making and playing.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 21 2017 12:50:22
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 727
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

quote:

can criticize it for the aspects I disagree with or I can support it and try to encourage changes in the coming years. I have chosen to do the latter.


Wise decision John. I hope there will be a chance to review the competition once it has had its initial run through. I also hope that it can become a celebration of the art of the luthier.

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 21 2017 13:05:16
 
Echi

 

Posts: 939
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

I like this initiative and hope will be successful.
My suggestions for the next edition are to involve a flamenco guitar player as well to judge the flamenco guitars and to allow the makers to make use of modern features if they wish.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 21 2017 14:02:32
 
printer2

 

Posts: 54
Joined: Sep. 19 2015
 

RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

Hey world we are going to have a pancake making contest! Everybody get here and make your pancakes for us, cost you $1500 to enter, plus your transportation and rooming. Afterward you have to wash your own dishes. Judging done while the griddle is still hot. The winner gets his pancake framed and displayed out in the hallway.


I would guess there won't be that many overseas entries due to the cost. But nothing stopping use from calling it an international competition, we did invite ya all.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 23 2017 1:15:37
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
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RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to printer2

quote:

Hey world we are going to have a pancake making contest! Everybody get here and make your pancakes for us, cost you $1500 to enter, plus your transportation and rooming. Afterward you have to wash your own dishes. Judging done while the griddle is still hot. The winner gets his pancake framed and displayed out in the hallway.


I would guess there won't be that many overseas entries due to the cost. But nothing stopping use from calling it an international competition, we did invite ya all.



This is funny- I would add to this, but I'm being good today.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 23 2017 7:56:11
 
johnguitar

 

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RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

"Laugh it up fuzzball!"

No but seriously, I will be glad to use all of your comments and criticisms in my attempt to convince the organizers to implement change in the coming years.

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John Ray
https://www.johnguitar.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 24 2017 16:26:09
 
Tom Blackshear

 

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RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

John,

I can see some of the surrounding European countries attending the festival due to shorter time travel but for the US builders, I don't hold much hope unless they have more money than sense, or just want to make the trip, as a vacation of sorts.

On the surface of the offer, it seems very limited in favor of builders from the outside and more in favor of the local establishment.

But I understand there are responsibilities for the locals, that are necessary for the operation, and to put something like this together can be a monumental task; especially the first time out.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 25 2017 16:39:19
 
johnguitar

 

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RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

I posted the results here but somehow they got erased. See my blog for a full report.

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John Ray
https://www.johnguitar.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2017 14:53:25
 
Piwin

Posts: 3298
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RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

I skimmed through your blog and it looks like it was a nice event. Cheers!

For the constructive criticism part, my feeling is that the next edition could use having separate categories instead of lumping everything in together. At least that's my gut reaction.

It is interesting though. We've had other threads on here discussing the history of the guitar and in particular when classical and flamenco split. In a way, having a competition without two distinct categories could be seen as a good thing, a way of trying to go back in time and bridge that gap that has emerged over the last century. If that were the intent, then it would make sense to have no categories and then have both "styles" played on each guitar (It wasn't specified in your blog, but I assume each of the two players were specialized in one style and not the other?).

I'm one of those who would like to see the two come closer together but I suppose specialization also has its advantages. In any event, we live in a time where specialization rules the day, and the organizers should be aware that separate categories is what people expect. Basically put, if they don't want to have separate categories, I think they'd have to give a clear reason why. It could be under the banner of the history of guitar and more or less what I was talking about above. But if no explicit reason is given, they risk giving the impression to people that it's done merely for economic reason (too expensive to have two separate categories) or that it was all just sort of improvised.
Anyways, all of this should be taken with a huge grain of salt. I'm just thinking out loud and I'm not a builder myself.

edit: oh and anonymous entries. That too could be an improvement on next year IMHO if ever you have any sway.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2017 17:02:41
 
sartorius

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RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

Sorry for Marín Montero's feelings but this competition should have been called 'Manuel de la Chica' as it was Granada's first significant guitarrero and Marín Montero's master by the way.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 4 2017 6:12:23
 
Echi

 

Posts: 939
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

Manuel de la Chica is a great builder but IMHO in the same league of other great Andalusian makers as Reyes, Gerundino and more recently Manuel Bellido and Antonio Marin Montero. An old Marin Montero guitar wouldn’t sound very different from a De la Chica ..
Montero deserves in a special way this tribute though for his role in defining the guitarra granadina, teaching, and undisputed leadership.
I guess if he asked more for the guitars he makes, his fame would be even greater...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 4 2017 11:39:53
 
RobF

Posts: 1116
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RE: 1st INTERNATIONAL GUITAR MAKING ... (in reply to johnguitar

I was able to attend the competition but I went to Madrid for five days afterwards and now that I’m home I finally have the time to post about it. John Ray has already given a good account of the competition on his blog and names the winners and follow ups, so I’ll just give my impressions without going into that level of detail.

The event was primarily a competition and less emphasis was placed on the exhibiting the instruments. The demographic of the entrants was, perhaps not surprisingly, of new and upcoming makers working towards establishing their careers.

Of the 17 entrants, 12 were from Spain and the remainder consisted of two from China, one from Japan, one from Portugal and one from Germany. The two Chinese entrants were past students of the Stephen Hill course in La Herradura, the Japanese entrant served a three month apprenticeship with Antonio Marin five years ago, and I didn’t meet the other two non-Spanish entrants so I don’t know their backgrounds. The gold medal winner and one of the two silver winners were from the Granada region, and both were also alumni of Stephen’s course. Stephen and family attended the last day of the event and from the beaming expression on his face it was obvious that he was very proud of their accomplishments. The other silver winner was from Germany, and was the only female contestant.

Five or six of the entries were Flamenco guitars, the remaining were Classical. The contest required each guitar use the same brand of strings (Saverez) and each guitar was demonstrated by either a classical player or a flamenco player, each playing the same piece relating to the type of guitar. Apparently the judging ranked sonic quality at 20%, but following the progress of the guitars through the contest I think the judges gave much more credence to sound quality than that. The guitars that made it to the last round all had excellent sonic qualities that stood out during the first rounds. That being said, the overwhelming majority of the guitars sounded great, so relying on sound alone would have made the judging very difficult, IMO.

That brings me to what I felt was a disappointing aspect of the event, in that the public was never given the chance to see the guitars in an exhibition setting. So, I was only able to judge the guitars visually from a distance and had to rely mainly on the sound of the demos to assess their quality. On behalf of future entrants, I hope that the organizers would consider adding an exhibition event to showcase the work of all entrants, perhaps held on the first day before the contest begins. For a maker, it would go a long way towards justifying the expense and stress of entering if the public could see their product up close.

As far as the judging goes, I think it was conducted fairly. I had no sense that there was any bias. While two of the winners were from the Granada Provence, their guitars both stood out from the first round as being excellent instruments. By the way, one of the silver winners was a Flamenco Blanca guitar. I personally thought the Flamenco entries overshadowed the Classical entries in the sound demonstrations, but that could have been due to the player.

From an entrant’s perspective, I think the event caused a few lost pounds and sleepless nights. But I really don’t see this as having been a vanity event, the judges and entrants were all very sincere. The judging panel contained some of the top builders active today, and I think they were studiously impartial.

The contest did have some program inaccuracies that are likely typical of first time events. The public displays alluded to in the program were actually closed door, and while the program indicated the sound demonstrations were closed to the public, I was able to attend all of them without issue, but maybe I was just lucky. The only event attended by a large public gathering was the concert held on the final day, in which the final five entrants had their guitars demonstrated, judged, and the awards granted.

I hope this event continues and is held regularly. It’s a great idea and it truly was a celebration of the craft. My congratulations go out to all the entrants and to the winners.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 6 2017 4:31:54
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