Once retired, though, I began to spend more and more time in my shop. It is close to a full-time occupation now, although I still allow myself some time off over the summer months every year to relax and reflect outside Chilliwack and a number of other places in B.C.
For me, when it comes to building, the journey is every bit as enjoyable as the destination. I savour the process of shaping and building each mandolin to release its unique sound. There is no mass-production at my shop. Each instrument is built one at a time by hand. The top and back of each instrument are hand carved. That way I can build a close relationship with the structure and acoustics of the wood. I find that the more I handle a piece of wood, the more I can feel its properties, its potential and its promise. I can hear its voice and make fine adjustments.
Like many builders today, I strive to capture some of the Loar sound in my instruments. But I stop short of trying to copy it. Instead, I combine some of the Loar characteristics with some of my own. You will find that I keep the prices of my mandolins down. I do this for a reason: to ensure my instruments are accessible to musicians. After all, the music is what really matters-not the instrument. It takes the skill and the soul of the musician to bring the music to life. Through the creation of Muth Mandolins, I am proud to play a part in that creative process.
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