Engineering for the love of music – what’s that all about?

When I was about 13 I became fascinated with the design of electric guitars. My mother who is a librarian took me with her to a warehouse of a company that imported magazines from around the world to Israel. She took me there to look at comics, but I found there fascinating magazines on all kinds of subjects. There were firearms magazines, sewing magazines, magazines for car and motorcycle enthusiasts, and many other topics. The best magazines I found (and my mother bought me) were the fringe and wacky comics and musical instruments magazines. I love comics, but when I found the Guitar Shop and Vintage Guitar magazines, that was it. I was utterly fascinated by the sheer number of ways for connecting guitar effects for getting new and different sounds out of a single instrument. I was truly baffled by how many different people tried to innovate, and how what they did was unique, yet still maintained a link to the sounds of popular music. I really, really, wanted to make my own electric guitar.

This desire took me on a very long journey, one that is not over yet, and which was transformed in many ways over the years. I still haven’t built an electric guitar. But I did build an acoustic one, which is far from perfect – but sounds great and is a joy to play. This journey I’m on brought me to study musicology and art history (a Bachelor’s degree I dropped out of), it brought me study and practice woodworking for some years, and after some other detours, it brought me to study engineering. I hold a B.Sc. in plastics engineering. Which is not exactly what I was going for, but at the age of 31 when I decided I was going to study engineering, I was also quite aware to the fact that I have never learned how to study – and the requirements for admission for that particular program seemed like something feasible. This “path of least resistance” reasoning worked just fine at the time, and got me finally from a point of “could have… should have…” to being able to decipher basic programming, physics, chemistry, and 3D design. This is exactly what I set out to do, so that’s a great success (high fives all around, alone in my living room). Next, is making use of this acquired knowledge to… make musical instruments!

I plan (and wish) to have this blog as a place for me to write about this passion of mine. Along the (long and winding) way I took some interest in MIDI and electronic music making, ergonomics, and material and machine engineering. I am working on several projects in these areas which I intend to publish here in the coming months. It’s probably not a good idea to jinx it, but as I don’t actually believe in Lady Luck (or anything, for that matter), I can write this here: I’ts going to be awesome!