Heart Strings

Seven gui­tars have been lov­ingly crafted from the wreck­age of Christchurch build­ings to raise funds for the arts com­mu­nity.

Element - - Artisan - By Mi­kee Tucker

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”

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