A Troubled Walk Into the Forest – A review of the documentary Musicwood

Grrrrrrma! for the review Frank. You were born to write! (amongst other things, no doubt). Labhairt ar a son na foraoise má labhraíonn sé a thabhairt duit. Ná déan dearmad ar ár bhaile fíor, áit a thagann againn ó agus filleadh.

Lingit Latseen

By Frank Hopper

One of the first things said in the documentary Musicwood is that for acoustical guitars the vibration of music comes from the wood. This hit me like a missile as I sat with about twenty other people viewing the first Seattle screening of the film at the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center on August 12th. The vibration is in the wood.

From the opening moments the film featured stunning shots of the Tongass Rainforest in Southeast Alaska where Sitka Spruce trees hundreds of feet tall grow like moss on hillsides that come right down to the water. Some of these trees have been growing for two or three hundred years, absorbing vibrations from the environment. Their wood can make a guitar sing in rich, elegant tones when used to make the front soundboard of the instrument. All well-made guitars use Sitka Spruce for this vital component.


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