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Distinguished SOTW Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Perhaps there will come a day where lines of production rule your lives. As so much they rule your choices.

This is a call to arms for those who wish unlimited choice, who support craft and respect those who labor for each individual who has an artistic need.

On one hand its cool to look to 3d printing, machine made widgets that are all the same....but is that really what you want?

What would it be like if every player went through their musical education (formal or informal) to sound like the guy next to them?

There may come a time when the individual artisan is erased from existence. We can look and find that in the scheme of things the field is shrinking.

In horns you have a few amazing guys making hand made, and very special work. In the mpc world you find more and more homogenized work...some of that work is precise. Some of it garbage (depending on the maker).

The same can be said of those who work in wood. While most of us cant afford hand crafted pieces in our house what would we choose if we could?

Do you want art or do you want production pieces?

What if the cost is the same?

What if individual makers, who actually make instruments and accessories vanish?

You are left with salesmen who spit out pieces in boxes. No different from a prescription picked up at the pharmacy.

I suggest its time we support the arts...support the crafts while at the same time reap the rewards of doing such. If we fail to do so the opportunity may disappear and become a barren landscape of hype and glitter that offers no room for personal discovery.

I think its worth thinking about.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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7,412 Posts
I think that those who finish mouthpieces by hand and are good at it will always be able to sell mouthpieces. The 3D-printed ones could be good, like the earlier 'Laser-Trimmed' ones, but they will still lack artistic excellence, making them unusable for the artist without at least a re-facing by a master. As always, the problem in making great mouthpieces by hand is how to make enough of them per day to actually make some money, while at the same time realizing that there are only so many players who can even appreciate a great mouthpiece, so the top end market is somewhat limited. Dave Guardala was quite an innovator in this respect, pioneering making the blanks on CNC machinery and later developing the 'Laser-Trimmed' process which was very close to doing what he hoped it would, but these mouthpieces can only be great with hand-tweaking.
I don't believe technology is in any way close to replacing the craftsmanship of a talented mouthpiece maker. In fact, this may never happen. Spit out great blanks for hand-finishing? By all means, but that shouldn't make anyone nervous,
 
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