The Resonance of Wood
Trees are truly magical. They are a critical foundation of life on earth; without them, we would not exist. Trees transpire water and oxygen and capture C02, then through photosynthesis sequester carbon to their roots and into the soil, supporting a vast network of life both below and above the surface. Their canopy provides shade to the forest floor, lowering the surface temperature, thereby protecting soil moisture and erosion. Trees provide habitat for birds and many other species, and return their leaves and eventually whole bodies to the earth to create mulch and sustain new life.
All of the individual elements found in a healthy habitat combine to create a singular whole - the forest - which has a resonance of its own. ‘Oi Acoustics explores this by creating new instruments (and furniture) which, like the forest, are composed of individual components that create a visual and acoustic whole which has its own sympathetic resonance. This is felt most strongly with the vibration of the instrument against your body, and invites you to not only feel that resonance which is alive, but become part of it through music.
"Acoustic music is the timeless sound of nature and resonating materials – wood, bone, gourd, gut and skin. It predates the spoken language of modern culture, crossing all borders and barriers. It speaks to great, universal truths of very personal, yet familiar stories. Those stories keep legacies alive, allow them to be shared, and create new ones going forward".
" (Derek Johnson aka Musicalist)
The 'Oi Approach
I will not contribute to the destruction of tropical rainforests or ecosystems, and primarily use curly woods from American Heritage trees - claro walnut, big leaf maple, Maui mango, Alaskan Lutz, black cherry - that have reached the culmination of their first lives. Typically found in remote locations, old orchards, front yards and street trees, their wood now finds a new beginning. My first growth redwood, which can be thousands of years old, was left in the forest for a century and a half after downing during the Gold Rush, and I utilize repurposed or sustainably harvested woods.
I see the organic lines of the forest, feel the strength of the tree in my hands, hear the inherent tone of the wood in my ears, smell the uniqueness of each wood and taste their nuts as I work in the shop. I strive to become part of the resonance.
All wooden instruments have a propensity to distort over time due to the constant string tension. The new 'Oi instruments take into account the 4th dimension of time; the "monopole string plate" design counteracts the top turning into a wave, and with a fully adjustable neck in the Z plane (up/down/tilt) along with two way truss rods, a neck reset can be accomplished in minutes without damaging the instrument.
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That is preferably archaic...as is building things from wood by hand.
The 'Oi Acoustic Family
Grand Tenor Ukulele
Grand Baritone Ukulele
FC Crossover Guitar
Steel String Guitar
CB4 or 5 (Hi C)
Compact Acoustic Bass
AB4 or 5 (Lo B)
Acoustic Bass Guitar
OM Baritone Guitar
OM Crossover Guitar
OM Steel String Guitar
Hawaiian Teardrop Slide Guitar
Hawaiian Weissenborn Slide Guitar
I Fell in Love...
Taimane, who recorded "Elemental" with her 'Oi Baritone uke and has taken it around the world.
I just fell in love
with the tone of my
'Oi baritone ukulele.