It's been over 25 years...
...since I designed and built my first electric fretless harp guitars in Tokyo, Japan.
During the development of those instruments I had a feeling I was onto something new, because fretless guitar and electric harp guitar were both unheard of at that time. But I had no idea of how much impact those harp guitars would ultimately have on my work
and success as a recording artist. I could not imagine how my music would be forever changed and so warmly received by other guitarists and fans around the world.
Initially, integrating fretless guitar and electric harp into a well balanced, visually appealing design was something I did because I couldn't find my dream instrument in a guitar shop. Playability and a killer tone were important factors in the harp guitars' development,
but the driving force was a desire to recreate the music I was hearing in my head.
I needed a guitar that had yet to be invented...
Then, upon completion of harp guitar #1 in '84 and harp guitar #2 in '85, I came across
a totally new playing technique that opened up all kinds of musical possibilities for me. This intricately complex, independent left/right hand approach developed rapidly, and the resulting music would soon become my trademark on countless albums, TV & film work, and an endless variety of other recordings. This performance of "Norwegian Wood" on NHK-TV Japan is a good example of the sound I was going after in my early harp guitars.
My first harp guitars also opened up new live performance possibilities, and because
of that I've been fortunate to enjoy a performing career on stages around the world.
Today, when recording or playing live, I still discover new things about this instrument
and have yet to realize its full potential. The harp guitars have stood the test of time,
yet they continue to evolve. Part of this evolution is the fretted version, which has
opened up another musical world for me and is now my main guitar.
In short, the direction of my career has been shaped by having developed and
exclusively played those harp guitars I created back in '84. Over the years I've
been asked many times by guitarists how they too could get my instrument.
Each time I've had to respond that they were not yet available. Until now!
A word about my manufacturer:
A number of years ago, 2 companies tried unsuccessfully to build prototypes of my harp guitar without adhering to my design
and construction requirements. Since then, I didn't pursue production of my harp guitars again until requests for them increased
due to my current work with ECLIPSE.
The wait is finally over.
I'm happy to announce Japan's highly-respected ASKA/DEVISER Corp. has gotten the instrument right this time.
ASKA/DEVISER Corp. stayed true to my design, proven over 25 years of recording and performing.
The mountains of Nagano Japan have long been Japan's guitar manufacturing center. It is here that for decades, Momose Guitars
made some of the most amazing acoustic instruments I've ever seen. ASKA/DEVISER Corp. is Momose's electric guitar division.
With many guitar brands outsourcing to developing Asian countries for the sole purpose of lowering cost, quality is a problem.
So I have opted to work with ASKA/DEVISER Corp. to manufacture my instruments 100% in Japan, at reasonable cost.
The future looks bright indeed.
With ASKA/DEVISER's luthiery expertise and access to an incredible variety of woods, electronics and technology,
I'm excited about developing these instruments even further.