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Impressions

 

Early oeuvres

 

The first studio 1976 - 1981

I found my first low-cost workshop outside our city. I selected some fine wood and immediately began to build various types of hurdy-gurdies. I was extremely curious and wanted to become familiar with all kinds of sound productions. I have built rebecs, tromba marina, crumhorns and finally did not stop even at the regal (reed organ).

At the same time I was playing in our Renaissance ensemble "Öhrli-Musig" where we could try all possible combinations of sounds. At the same time I played also in one or two folk bands. The bit of concert-fee was essential for my survival.

 

  

The second domicile 1981 - 1986

Due to plans for new houses I had to leave my studio. Fortunately I found an empty workshop next to my flat. That’s where I created my first harp: a Gothic harp had been missing since long in our ensemble.

As next, the desire to make a larger harp model was truly logical. In various museums I studied some hook harps which could serve as a model. I developed my own semitone levers, to sattisfie also “modern” customers.

 

  

In the old town 1987 - 2002

A major decision was imminent: I opened a shop specialized in harps in the old town of Schaffhausen. Thus I sold also harps of industrial manufacturing, as well as sheet music, strings, records and CDs. I started doing restorations on harps: large Erard double-action harps and even some single-action harps too. With TRITONUS we had a lot of concerts (not with the harp, but with hurdy-gurdy and bagpipes).

But then I had big plans again. The dream of making a French pedal harp of the 18th century was awakened. In 1992 I produced my first Louis Seize harps. It was a huge project so I decided to close the store again to save more time for my own work. At the same time I could make a lot of restorations. Collaboration with museums has become more important (eg my assistance for the catalog of harps in the Berlin Museum).

  

The studio "In Gruben 24" from 2003

Once again, a removal: I can move into a bright studio in a commercial building at the border of our city. I stopp touring with TRITONUS music in order to have more time for my research and my work. Now I can build many Louis XVI harps and I make restorations of numerous single-action harps. There is an enormous sense of pleasure to work for professional harpists of high renown and sometimes I find a new CD recorded with my harp in my letter box.

My archives are constantly growing and are of great help for many expertise. I could already buy some old harps, so now I have tackled the restoration of my Hochbrucker-Harp. I am rarely found at harp exhibitions but however the WHCs in Prague and Geneva were important enough for me to exhibit my harps there. 

  

Studio and Harp room, from 2012

Again a (last?) removal, but this time I stay in the same building. After the collapse of the Euro it is recommanded to save my expenses. I move my studio into my spacious storage downstairs and I can integrate my office and my harp room into my flat.

  

Retirement – Business-Transfer 2016

With my retirement 2016 I transfered my knowledge to my successors:

  • The construction of the Louis XVI-Harp is now taken over by Dario Pontiggia, Milan.  
  • The construction of the Small Harp and Gothic Harp is now taken over by Peter Demmerle, Schaffhausen.  
  • The restoration of early harps will be taken over by  Peter Demmerle, Schaffhausen und Christoph Mani, Guggisberg, Bern.

 

In these last 40 years while I was engaged in early musical instruments I have made:

43 hurdy-gurdies, 23 different stringed instruments (e.g. Aeolian harps, rebec, cittern), 2 regal-organs, 28 wind-instruments (cromornes, baroque-oboes) and 60 harps (including 18 Louis XVI-harps). I also restored or conserved 72 original harps.

In the first 25 years I gave around 320 concerts with different music-groups. Then I had to stop making music because harp making needed my full time. I held about 30 lectures on exhibitions or symposiums.

In the very last years I have voiced nearly 20'000 school-recorders at KÜNG because of the Euro-crisis.