Holy Grail Show Feature - Schorr Guitars - Defying convention.
I love Nicolai's opening sentence on the 'about' section of his website. "I have a strange affection for guitars. Schorr guitars is my way of dealing with it.". I think that is a perfect introduction to delving into his creative instruments and way of approaching the guitar. Nicolai's designs are inviting. I think they ignite curiosity, be it the simplistic shape, petite sizes, exposed wiring components or sliding pickups. This is surely something that can't be passed by, and to me anyway, are as much a work of art as they are a playable instrument, combining almost industrial aesthetics into such a clean style. Heading towards the Holy Grail Show, this was a luthier I was really looking forward to meeting.
Nicolai offers two guitar shapes, the Owl and Neptune. Both of which were displayed at the show along with a bass. The Owl offers perhaps the most unique idea, with it's single bolt neck attachment, meaning it can be adjusted allowing for a fixed bridge height or removed completely perhaps making travelling with the guitar really easy. The Neptune is a more traditional set neck design with a lovely single cut shape.
Above was a brilliant community collaboration with school students, Nicolai, Frank Deimel of Deimel Guitarworks & Mete from Novacorda Guitars. A take on Schorr's Owl design, with a hollow acrylic 'body'. I'd have loved to have been a part of seeing this build come together, seeing the students able to be involved in something so creative.
The thoughts behind Nicolai's sliding pickup design were to create a wealth of tonal variation. I spent some time looking over the guitars, speaking with Nicolai and having a brief play on these wonderful instruments. But I knew his demo concert at the Holy Grail Show was something I must catch, hearing a couple of his builds in the hands of skilled player, Florian Von Frieling. A jazz guitarist based in Berlin too. Florian played both models, the Owl & Neptune and aside from enjoying his incredibly diverse and delicate playing, I was taken aback by the tones achievable from Nicolai's instruments. They certainly leant themselves very well indeed to jazz playing, close your eyes and it would be hard not to picture an archtop due the guitar's clear attack.
Due to the unique nature of these instruments, Nicolai's design and overall approach to guitar making, I felt on this ocassion the only way to delve deeper into the details would be to get him on board for a Meet the Maker interview. So if Schorr Guitars has you further intregued, sit tight, because we'll be finding out about Nicolai's 'Strange affection for guitars' very soon. I hope this brief feature acts as a suitable introduction to this wonderful instruments, I'm so glad I got to see some for myself.
For more information on Schorr Guitars, be sure to visit the website and various social streams - http://schorrguitars.de/