WOODSONG is my studio/ workshop in the village of Rosh Pina, near the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to have a workshop, where I could make and sell the musical instruments that I build – Celtic Harps, Belly Harp (for pregnant women), a wide range of door harps, didgeridoos, wooden xylophones, marimbas and musical tables.
My whole family has been involved in Woodsong in one way or another. My wife, Les, deals with all the emails, internet and our website. She has also, recently, opened a shop on Etsy.
In the early years our three children helped wherever they could. Our youngest daughter, Maya, plays and sings with me on the “Woodsong” CD. She is an extremely talented singer-songwriter (who was voted the “Discovery of the Year” by ACUM- the Israeli Artists Association- in 2012). Her first CD, “Safe & Sound” reached gold in Israel, and her songs are regularly played on popular Israeli music stations. She is presently working on her third album and performs at all the main music venues in Israel, and has performed at festivals and venues in the USA, UK and Europe.
I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. The sounds and rhythms of Africa, so much a part of my surroundings, have been strong influences in my life and work. I have played the guitar and harmonica since I was a kid, and have always been drawn to and fascinated by music and musical instruments of all kinds. I have been lucky to be able to combine my woodworking skills with my love of music and musical instruments.
Wherever practically feasible I try to use recycled timber, or wood which I collect from the pruning of trees in our area (the Galilee).
If you are ever in the Galilee, feel free to come in and visit. I’d be happy to give you a musical demonstration of the instruments.
A poem which I once read in the introduction to a book on guitar-making very much inspires me and expresses the spirit of “Woodsong”. This poem was found inscribed on the face frets of an Elizabethan lute:
|I was alive in the forest|
I was cut by the cruel axe
In life I was silent
In death I sweetly sing
|Viva fui in silvis|
Sum dura occisa
Securi dum vixi tacui
Morta dulce cano