Norman Warwick sees
time BEFORE MUSIC by Annette Bay Pimental
In May 2022 ´David B wrote on trip advisor to urge visitors to the island of Lanzarote to take aninteresting visit in the attractive town of Teguise with a relatively cheap entry fee of 3 euros per person. The museum is based in an historic building with the help of the late César Manrique, (inevitably, as the island of Lanzarote remains loyal to the artist´s aesthetics and ethics). The house is worth visiting in itself, but inside you will find all sorts of stringed instruments similar to the ukelele. There is a video room with a documentary and examples of the instrument being played and we were pleased we stopped here.
The department for centres of art culture and tourism (c.a.c.t.) actually says of the timple museum that this space is dedicated to the music and traditional culture of the canary islands, with the timple as its main protagonist, a small string instrument that is one of the most deeply rooted sound symbols in the entire archipelago. The villa de Teguise, through its artisans, played a fundamental role for the timple to spread throughout the rest of the islands, becoming not only a spokesperson for island identity, but also an element of contact with other cultures and developments and aesthetics that combine tradition with modernity.
The Timple Museum project contemplates a space dedicated to the history of the municipality; a room dedicated to the antecedents of the timple, and is also the location of pieces by artisans from Teguise and Lanzarote, completed with timples from artisans from all the islands. Another unit houses the instruments of the world that are related to our instrument, a space that due to its dimensions, as well as its excellent acoustics, serves as a small-format concert hall. a third room is dedicated to the latest generation timples that incorporate new technologies. There is also a section dedicated to the construction process, recreating a craft workshop. the project includes a media room, an outdoor function space and a shop.
The Timple House-Museum is a space that combines the functions of museum, study centre and cultural space, with the aim of disseminating, conserving and studying the traditional culture of the Canary Islands, having as its central axis what becomes one of the most representative musical instruments of the archipelago. Directed by the timplista Benito Cabrera, this centre was created by the General Directorate for Cooperation and Cultural Heritage of the Government of the Canary Islands, and is managed by the Villa de Teguise City Council. The museum presents, as a central element, a wide collection of timples, as well as instruments from other countries that give dimension to the use of this type of small guitar by many cultures from different parts of the planet. In addition, the visitor will be able to learn about the folklore of Teguise, contemplate the phases of the construction process of the timple, as well as enjoy various audio-visual elements within the framework of a patrimonial environment of great architectural interest. The Timple House-Museum also offers a series of programmed activities such as concerts, courses, talks, etc. Located in the Palacio de Spínola, in Villa de Teguise, it complements the offer of one of the oldest municipalities with the greatest monumental value in the Canary Islands.
I have been fortunate enough to attend scores of concerts at this wonderful museum, and in the tiny theatre rooms it is almost possible to hear that time before music, that Annette Bay Pimental refers to in her book of that title, so wondrous is the sound emerging from the elegant timple instruments that actually look quite like small ukuleles. The instrument sounds heavenly when either picked or strummed, and whether a solo instrument or in a multiple performance the timple lends itself to support individual or choral singing of the folk lore of the island. I have also heard the instrument played by some of the several maestros we have here on Lanzarote, in string sections that include bass, guitar and mandolin for example.
Although I first began performing in folk clubs in the UK in the seventies when Yamahas, and occasionally Martin Ovation guitars, were all we heard and so long as those instruments could play ´three chords and the truth´ I never really bothered about who had invented them, who had first ´heard´ a sound and built an instrument that could re-create what had been heard. Despite an excellent guitar-maker called George Butterworth who lived on our folk scene hinterland and was himself an excellent musician who enthused both about music and the history and building of instruments, I stoically refused to heed a call from a time before music.
To visit the timple museum, though, is somehow to be transported back to a time that one author has called Before Music.
we´re gonna need a bigger bookshelf for book 5
From award-winning author Annette Bay Pimentel comes an oversize nonfiction picture book exploring how music and musical instruments are made–across time and around the world
Music doesn’t come out of nothing.
It always starts somewhere . . .
with something . . .
Discover how music is made in this survey of musical instruments from around the world. Organized by material–from wood to gourds to found objects and more–Before Music marries a lyrical core text with tons of informational material for curious readers.
In the narrative text, readers will encounter makers as they source their materials and craft instruments by hand, drawing the line from the natural world to the finished product and its sound. The sidebars offer much more to discover, including extensive instrument lists, short bios of musical innovators, and more.
cicrac 24 dollars Price
Abrams Books for Young Readers Publisher
June 21, 2022 publish date
Dimensions 9.9 X 14.5 X 0.5 inches | 2.1 pounds
Annette Bay Pimentel is the author of several nonfiction picture books, including All the Way to the Top, which received a Schneider Family Book Award honor; and Girl Running, which was a Junior Library Guild pick and received a starred review; and our own forthcoming Pura’s Cuentos.
She lives in Moscow, Idaho.
Artist Madison Safer is a queer illustrator whose work is inspired by Russian folk art, Jewish paper cuttings, quilt patterns, and the quiet woods of New England.
She received her bachelor of fine arts in illustration studies from Montserrat College of Art. Before Music is her debut picture book.