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Old 06-30-2006, 07:44 AM   #1
Jesse Joe
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Times & Transcript | News - As published on page C11 on June 30, 2006


Unique guitar built in N.S. incorporates lots of Canadiana


Gretzky's stick, Trudeau's paddle mesh to form ultimate Canadian guitar


(THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Canadian rocker Colin James shows off the Six String Nation Guitar on Parliament Hill in Ottawa yesterday. Sixty treasured Canadian icons have been torn apart, chopped up and mashed together into the Six String Nation Guitar - a decade-long project to bring together symbols and stories that unite us as a nation. The mish-mash of Canadiana makes its debut performance tomorrow in the hands of singer-songwriter Stephen Fearing for Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill.

TORONTO (CP) - Jowi Taylor spent more than a decade assembling a collection of quintessentially Canadian artifacts that define us as a nation:

Pierre Trudeau's canoe paddle. The ship deck of the Bluenose II. Paul Henderson's hockey stick. The Golden Spruce.

And when he finally found them, Taylor had the treasured icons torn apart, chopped up and mashed together until they bore no resemblance to their original forms.

The result was the Six String Nation Guitar - a uniquely Canadian instrument made up of symbols and stories from sea to sea.

The honey-coloured acoustic with the stylized Maple Leaf makes its debut performance in Ottawa on Saturday in the hands of Ontario singer-songwriter Stephen Fearing.

Taylor, host of the CBC radio program Global Village, and luthier George Rizsanyi spent 11 years in their quest to secure materials and build the ultimate Canadian guitar.

"In Canada we tend to think that we only have room for a certain number of stories," says Taylor, who funded the project with his own bank account before finding private donors in March.

"There are a few that get told over and over and over again, in the same way that we tend to see the same Anne Murray specials over and over and over again.... I think Canada is so much richer than that, there are so many more stories, there are so many more communities. Each of them is part of the country, they're woven deeply into the fabric. Even if they are not big stories that doesn't mean that the rest of the country doesn't depend on those stories for their texture."

Rizsanyi built the guitar in his workshop near Pinehurst, N.S.

There's not one part of the instrument - inside or out - that doesn't reveal a piece of Canada's history.

Most of the front piece is cut from the Golden Spruce - a majestic 300-year-old tree revered by the Haida-Gwaii of British Columbia and cut down by a madman in 1997.

The guitar's neck is a laminate of several pieces including the Bluenose, a bagel shibba (used to move bagels in and out of brick ovens) from Montreal, and oak from the St. Boniface Museum in Manitoba, the building in which Louis Riel went to school.

The pick guard - a Maple Leaf in three parts - is stained with red ochre from Newfoundland and includes part of the homes of basketball inventor John Naismith and John Ware, a respected black cowboy who died just days after Alberta became a province of Canada in 1905. The leaf stem is made up of one of Henderson's hockey sticks, a Wayne Gretzky hockey stick and a seat from the Montreal Forum.

Unseen inside is a piece of wood from Fan Tan Alley, Canada's first Chinatown in Victoria; Nancy Greene's childhood skis, and one of Trudeau's canoe paddles.

"The actual physical guitar is maybe even less important than what it's made of and what it represents," says Fearing, who will play his song The Longest Road before passing the guitar to Colin Linden, Tom Wilson and other musicians during the Canada Day performance.

"It's quite mystical stuff, the fact that you can make an instrument that makes music from bits and things I find very exciting. All the things that have gone into this guitar I think will definitely resonate in it."

The guitar is booked on a tour of summer folk festivals and will eventually find its way back to all the communities from which it came, says Taylor.

Beyond that, Taylor has even grander plans.

"I'd love to see it launch the Olympics, I'd love to see it half-time at the Grey Cup, I'd love to see it open the Arctic Winter Games," says Taylor, who is also making a movie about the construction and journey home. "I would really like it to become a bit of a touchstone for Canadian identity and Canadian events."

[ July 10, 2006, 15:34: Message edited by: Jesse -Joe ]
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Old 06-30-2006, 09:15 AM   #2
charlene
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I was just on the website last week but it seeems to be under construction now. The original plan had Lightfoot playing it on July 1 in Ottawa at Canada Day ceremonies.

http://www.sixstringnation.com/

this was posted last November:
http://www.corfid.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ul...c;f=1;t=003540

CANADA DAY in OTTAWA
http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/bins...8-22876&lang=1
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Old 06-30-2006, 10:11 AM   #3
Jesse Joe
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Boy that would have been cool eh?

The thunder is starting to roll down here, so maybe I will shut this down for a while. We had a week of warm muggy temperatures. Usually after that is a good thunder storm.

Chat with you later Charlady... YF Jesse.
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Old 06-30-2006, 09:16 PM   #4
charlene
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I'm watching CBCNW now and the special about the making of the guitar....
show is over -- wow - what a beautiful piece of art...sounds damn fine too.
a piece of a 112 year old wood seat from Massey Hall is included. it's quite a unique story and guitar...
Tomorrow in Ottawa it will be played at the Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill.

7:30 pm to 10 pm
Come celebrate an evening of rising stars, along with some of Canada’s favourite performers, as they inaugurate the Six String Nation guitar.

Featuring:

African Guitar Summit (Ont. / B.C.) — World music
The Six String Nation guitar
Stephen Fearing (Ont.) — Folk
Jean-François Breau (N.B.) — Pop
Aselin Debison (N.S.) — Celtic, pop-rock
Tanya Tagaq Gillis (Nunavut) — Contemporary throat singing
Michel Pagliaro (Que.) — Rock
Annie Villeneuve (Que.) — Pop-rock
Travis Knights (Que.) — Tap dance
Kyle Riabko (Sask.) — Rock ’n’ roll
Colin James (B.C.) — Blues
Stars (Que.) — Alternative pop

[ June 30, 2006, 22:01: Message edited by: charlene ]
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:53 PM   #5
Jesse Joe
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Yes I did record the guitar program as well as Stompin Tom. Massey Hall What a beautiful old large theatre.

Lets hope they never Bull Doze it down, as Peter Gzowski told Gord.
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Old 07-02-2006, 07:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by charlene:
I'm watching CBCNW now and the special about the making of the guitar....
show is over -- wow - what a beautiful piece of art...sounds damn fine too.
a piece of a 112 year old wood seat from Massey Hall is included. it's quite a unique story and guitar...
Tomorrow in Ottawa it will be played at the Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill.

7:30 pm to 10 pm
Come celebrate an evening of rising stars, along with some of Canada’s favourite performers, as they inaugurate the Six String Nation guitar.

Featuring:

African Guitar Summit (Ont. / B.C.) — World music
The Six String Nation guitar
Stephen Fearing (Ont.) — Folk
Jean-François Breau (N.B.) — Pop
Aselin Debison (N.S.) — Celtic, pop-rock
Tanya Tagaq Gillis (Nunavut) — Contemporary throat singing
Michel Pagliaro (Que.) — Rock
Annie Villeneuve (Que.) — Pop-rock
Travis Knights (Que.) — Tap dance
Kyle Riabko (Sask.) — Rock ’n’ roll
Colin James (B.C.) — Blues
Stars (Que.) — Alternative pop
I hope the artists that get to play this unique instrument are truly appreciative of the great honor they have received. What a great concept and a wonderful tribute to Canada's history and heritage!

I tried to log on yesterday but could not so this is a day late but "Happy Canada Day" to all of our friends north of the border!
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Old 07-07-2006, 10:49 AM   #7
charlene
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I see that the guitar will be in Orillia at Mariposa this weekend. I wonder if Lightfoot will take a drive north and play a tune on it????

http://www.mariposafolk.com/signpost.php?dest=home

guitar site - register at site:
http://sixstringnation.com/en/
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Old 07-15-2006, 05:09 PM   #8
charlene
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The website is up and running now with details about Mariposa and other venues it's been at and who has played it. There's a discussion forum and a survey asking what the guitar should be named. I offered up "HARMONY"...
the media section has links to all news etc. about the guitar.
http://sixstringnation.com/en/
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