Guitar Confession
The first touches I made were on the Italian 
guitar of my sister. It was in my second year of secondary school. About the time than that also boys grow to an understanding that the world is larger than their dreams. A frightening awareness that has to be captured in a frame of beautiful freedom and the reach for some skills of expression. For me, at the time, learning to play the guitar was one of the ways to fulfill these needs.
With the few savings I had, I bought a second-, second- or even more second- hand electric guitar, trusting that the old radio I used as an amplifier to my own built record-player, would carry these tunes too. At a whispering level it did, a fact that was welcomed by all the family but me.        
So soon I traded this guitar for another self-made one that was as well an acoustic- as an electric guitar. The man who sold me this guitar gave me also a few lessons, a birthday gift from my parents. However, this man being a trumpet player, perhaps but a sales-man certainly, soon reached the end of his knowledge of how to play the guitar. So than all the rest I learned myself, mainly according to the songs of those days.
Both guitars, the Italian one of my sister who stopped playing it, and my own that I rebuilt and changed its colour from madder deep red into zinc white, had to my taste a too limited expression reach. For buying a 'real' guitar that would suit my needs and wants better, I definitely lacked the money. So in my summer holidays I disobeyed my family and took for a month a job as a street cleaner, also definitely a forming experience, but that is another story. With the money earned I bought a very nice Japanese guitar. I trusted the Japanese as instrument builders having a tradition of their own in string music. They also tried to conquer the Western market, I knew. So the offer was, as hoped, an extreme good guitar for a relatively small price. A match I only could afford on the very last day of my summer job.
I use phosphor bronze snares on it. It sounds simply beautiful. I  have never regretted buying this six stringed 'Emperador', neither the effort that enabled me to do so.
  Herbert ten Thij, oil - painting. 
On a Saturday morning in my first year as a student I strolled a little earlier than needed for an appointment with a friend on the Oude Gracht (Old Canal Street) in Utrecht. My purpose was to visit first a little music shop that was only open on Saturdays. I had the habit that time to listen to twelve stringed guitars where ever I encountered them. Most of the time the guitars offered were very disappointing, mainly because they were not really built as twelve stringed instruments, but as  common six stringed ones only  poorly adjusted. Also this time I handed back the last of the three displayed guitars I tried with a dark look of dissatisfaction on my face. The shop owner who had listened to my playing with some interest, stopped me when I was about to leave the shop. He had another guitar that had a little damage from its shipment, but that  nevertheless could be of my interest. I must admit that I did not have much expectations, believing more his selling intentions than other plausible motives. He went for this guitar to his storage space in the cellar of the house. I waited and waited. When he got back I immediately recognized he carried a Japanese made instrument. All the waiting was forgotten instantly. And it sounded nice. And it ringed clear. And it wept so gently. All as probably voices of angels would be. At last I found a real twelve stringed guitar ! Because it was damaged - only a few scratches on the back and a glue-able crack in the bottom side - its price could be managed. Later I learned that I acquired a top instrument for only a fraction of its worth. Sometimes you have to be lucky, it seems. But that is perhaps of little interest here. I have put silver strings on it to complete its sound even more pleasantly. It is always a joy to play this guitar. Fate or fortune, I am grateful anyway.
Nice stories have to end sadly, they say, as life so often does. I don't know. I am only angry about the loss of those vast seas of time I once could sail on and that I enjoyed so much. Nowadays too many obligations take my daylight hours. As a result also my guitars mostly hang on the wall of my study. The dark sound holes in them seem as pharaoh's mouths waiting silently for their soul to return. So they shortly speak history now most of the time. Someday perhaps -hopefully than- they will sing again more often as they once used to do, playing their part to make time sound and share it with me at the same time too.
Here after you may find three more pages. They are about illustrations and compositions. First you hear one piece and you will see one half of a white fox in the light. Next you will hear the second piece and you will see another half of the same white fox by the completing angle of light. Than you may enjoy the synthesis of both pieces and also the whole composition of the figure. Just click here or on the little white fox below and there you go.
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