I am very much concerned about environment so my guitars always bear a CITES certificate for exportation in case it is requested as well as a quality seal. Others like my Blanca Cypress-coral is built with non-tropical woods.
OULA MOMMO FROM FINLAND
The main goal of the
Leonardo Guitar Research Project (LGRP)
is to study, demonstrate and communicate the possibilities of building acoustic and classical guitars from non-tropical woods.
Together with partners from different fields we aim to developcooperative knowledge platform concerning the use of alternative
non-tropical wood species in guitar making.
LGRP is a Europe based independent non-profit organization that was funded by the European commission (Leonardo-Da-Vinci and Erasmus+) from 2011 till 2017.
As the European funding programs ended, LGRP operates now (provisionally) without funding. A donation system to support the project will be set up soon.
Context of the project
– Economic situation
Many of the exotic tropical woods are now protected and their trade restricted under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). For the luthier it means that these woods, which have been traditionally used in guitar making, are becoming rarer and ever more expensive. For those tropical woods still available, care needs to be exercised to ensure that they are from a legitimate source as, despite certification processes such as that of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), much of the available tropical wood is illegally harvested. // read more
– Need to study alternatives
Because of the decreasing availability and increasing cost of tropical woods there is a need to find economically viable alternatives. Against this background the LGR-Project started up a research program to study the possibilities of using species of local non-tropical woods that are not normally used in acoustic and classical guitar making. The program consists of building guitars from both tropical and non-tropical woods and assessing them for performance and acceptance in a series of comparative tests. This work is carried out by an international team of 3 lutherie schools and 4 entrepreneurial luthiers, working in co-operation with external experts (forest management experts, environmental organisations, universities, and other researchers). Together we aim to develop a knowledge centre surrounding the use of alternative non-tropical wood species in guitar making.
– Environmental value
If this research programme can demonstrate that locally grown sustainable non-tropical woods can be used as viable alternatives for the traditional tropical woods used in guitar making, the effect could be more than just providing luthiers with a broader range of affordable tonewoods. Any move towards sustainable local tonewoods could have important environmental benefits through reducing demand for tropical rainforest woods, and by reducing transportation miles. // read more
– The organisation
As the European funding programs ended in 2017, LGRP operates now without funding.
Therefor LGRP appeals to a broad cooperation with various international partners, to supporting members, donations and to the indispensable work of volunteers.
1– Research on sound preferences and perception
2 – Execute comparative workability tests for tropical and non-tropical wood species.
3 – Defining terms used in guitar making.
4 – Explore history of non-tropical woods in guitar making.
5 – Developing a knowledge platform.
6 – Supply development of non-tropical woods.
7 – Communication and dissemination