Seven guitars have been lovingly crafted from the wreckage of Christchurch buildings to raise funds for the arts community.
The people were very much like the buildings. From the outside many of them looked quite good, but when you went inside you found that they were broken and fragile.” That’s how Bruce Pickering, the craftsman behind the Heart Strings project, describes the seven guitars he has carved from the historic fallen buildings of Christchurch.
Heart Strings is an inspirational project set up by Bruce, his son, Jason, and Sheena Hemens, to help raise funds to rebuild the music and arts community of Christchurch.
The owners of many historically important buildings gave permission for timber from their wreckage to be collected and used to make Guitar Series “7.1”. The guitars are each named after the building from which the wood came and each guitar in the series tells its own story.
“In many cases the timber itself dictated the story and each piece could be given a new life and an entirely new purpose,” says Jason, who was involved with collecting the timber.
“Graduate” is a piece of commanding kauri from the Great Hall of the Arts Centre (formerly the University). “Homebush” is from the historic Deans family home of the same name, near the epicentre of the first quake, which was damaged beyond repair. “Chester” is made from kauri weatherboard from a Victorian house in Chester Street and dates from the late 1800s. The “Epicentre” guitar visually references the 7.1 earthquake’s epicentre and includes a selection of historic timbers as homage to the emergency services.
The seven guitars will go to auction at a gala dinner in Christchurch on November 24. Before then six of the guitars will be on exhibition in Christchurch while The “Epicentre” will be incorporated into Fly My Pretties, fourth incarnation and upcoming national tour. After an introduction and suggestion to work together by Creative New Zealand, Heart Strings teamed up with Fly My Pretties and the marriage couldn’t be more perfect. The new sixteen-strong band of Fly My Pretties is filled with the guitar playing talent of Aaron Tokona (Cairo Knife Fight), Ryan Prebble (The Nudge), Age Pryor (Ukulele Orchestra), Anna Coddington and more. “It’s a real honour to take this beautiful guitar on the road and be part of such an inspirational and original idea” says Pretties’ cofounder Barnaby Weir.
The guitars were also recently road-tested by Kiwi musicians Don McGlashan, Dave Dobbyn, Jason Kerrison and Victoria Gerling-Butcher who passed them with flying colours. See www.heartstringsnz.co.nz for more details. Fly My Pretties IV tour New Zealand from October 29 to November 19. See www.loop.co.nz for details. FREE DOWNLOAD For a free download of Champion (a song about getting back up when you’ve been knocked down) by Barnaby Weir and Fly My Pretties visit www.elementmagazine.co.nz
Bruce Pickering with the “Graduate” guitar.
The “Epicentre” from
Guitar Series “7.1”