Me neither…not until this week, when head honcho André Burguete sent me a link to their site (in 4 languages no less).
Pretty interesting! First off, you gotta love the home page photos – it’s like Glee, with lutes!
Seriously though, this team’s goal seems to be no less than the “re-invention” of the historical lute, by modifying and updating the construction logistics, making them both more versatile and more musical than standard historical reproductions. At least, that’s what I took away from my quick, but concentrated look through the site (don’t quote me – check it out for yourself). I have no idea how they are perceived in the Lute or Early Music worlds, but it doesn’t seem much different than the huge number of modern guitar builders who continually work to update and “improve” the steel-string or classical guitar (some with great success). It definitely reminds me of our own harp guitar community, with the growing amount of luthiers updating the historical paradigms. And yes, they offer all forms of liuto forte, including many with floating bass strings.
If I was a classical guitar or lute player, I would certainly want to check these out. Heck, I still might!