Musical Gifts

Pythagoras Violin

August March
4 min read
Musical Gifts
The Pythagoras violin, by Anne Cole (
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All of the highly crafted instruments created by Cole, from the Pythagoras to the Winnie the Pooh Cello, are totally unique, cut and assembled and tempered into objects d’art that also sing and hum and glide as beautifully as the stringed creations of yore that were crafted in Europe in the 18th century. The difference here is a modern attention to detail as well an instrument built in the desert to withstand the dry and dusty onslaught of time while it continues to make sounds both heavenly and harsh. This one of a kind violin, called Pythgoras, features turquoise studs inlaid in the tuning pegs and tailpiece. It’s the perfect gift for your friend that holds the first violin chair at the MET or maybe the one you knew in grad school that’s holding the number one position down at the Chicago Symphony. For anyone in a regional orchestra, though, the price may be about a year’s pay—but then again flair has a lot to do with advancement in this, your chosen field.

M-1 Classical Guitar

For some players, a guitar is more than a means to an end. The instrument can be a lifelong companion, a source of inspiration, even a teacher of sorts. That keen personal relationship between a musician and a musical device is the reason many musicians seek out handcrafted, individually tailored instruments on which to pursue their melodic and harmonic dreams. For guitaristas the world over, Albuquerque is known as the home of Pimentel & Sons, a family of luthiers that produce some of the most beautiful, purest sounding string instruments ever carved, assembled and tuned by lovingly human hands. If your level of playing demands the highest level of presentation and acoustic performance, then you may already be playing one of the masterful, musical objects created by one of the Pimentels. If not, then start with their basic model, the M-1 at only $2,700, it represents a fine beginning to to any axe-wielders personal and plucky path.

Endlings T-Shirt

Endlings is the name of the def and dangerously dank recording recently created by Albuquerque composers Raven Chacon and John Dieterich. The stuff I wrote about this cryptically consuming recording went something like this: “This is an intense work, and compositions like ‘I Make it Fall’ and ‘I Believe That She Did It Her Way’ are ample proof that Chacon and his many co-conspirators have the market cornered on relevant, metallic experimentalism—in an age that would seemingly otherwise embrace light and fluffy with aplomb.” Wow! And now, listeners to this homage to devilish noise can sport a T-shirt that proclaims their plutonic proclivities with, what else, aplomb. Featuring original artwork by the musicians, as featured on the first release of the record—the second pressing of Endlings was released on Stoned to Death Records back in June and features artwork by Frantisek Kara, btw. For less than a Jackson, buying and wearing this T-shirt is a sick way to show off your love for the local avant-garde, Satanic or not.

Music Lessons

Um, I’m not trying to cause any static, but learning to play a musical instrument is a gift that is not something limited by time or substance, but rather something that expands the mind towards the infinite while teaching the body structure, rhythm and self-mastery. Starting the uplifting journey toward understanding and practicing a set of musical skills can be started anytime, and the holidays—which gives us all a time to ponder our movement forward—are a perfect temporal location to begin. The New Mexico School of Music offers private and group instruction to all students interested in expanding their reach, temperament and skill on instruments as diverse as the piano, guitar, voice and orchestral instruments from the cello to the clarinet; the conservatory setting, staffed by notable locals of renown as well UNM and CNM Music Department regulars and famed composer/instrumentalists like Michael Mauldin and Panaoitis ensure that a hearty and academically sound music curriculum is delivered in innovative and engaging ways.

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