A Lute Out of a Nightmare

And now for something completely different.

Much of my energy this year was spent on a long treasure hunt of sorts. It began in February when I stumbled upon a Facebook notice for a completely-under-the-radar auction of incredible musical instruments in Germany. Ultimately, I won three items (I bid on a dozen, and would’ve bid on a hundred if I had the means). You can read about that in my “Collector’s Corner” article for the Summer 2018 AMIS Newsletter. This particular instrument – a monstrous experimental lute – pretty much sums up the Miner Museum of Vintage, Exotic & Just Plain Unusual Instruments. It belongs here. Luckily, I doubt many – any? – others knew what it was, or cared.

Long story short, I bit the bullet and re-strung it, removed my acrylics and spent much of the summer with it – just to see what it could (and couldn’t!) do. I now present that in a companion video and article. I hope you get a kick out of it.

The other part of the story was trying to track down who owned all those wonderful instruments (the Auction house was useless). When I finally found out (through a couple German AMIS members), I smelled a story. A mutual friend put me in touch with the owner’s widow, who was only too happy to find someone interested in her late husband’s legacy. That piece will be published in the next AMIS newsletter (and something here), and I urge my musical instrument-loving friends both in Europe and the States to check back for that.

But for now, try to wrap your head around:


A Lute Out of a Nightmare

Article                                                              Video




  1. Mike Carlson Says:

    Gregg, I so so admire and respect you. But I also think you’ve found the “holy grail:” a way to keep acquiring instruments, justifying each purchase as being, “for the museum”! Someday I should try to add up all the guitars (electric; acoustic; classical; guitarlele), banjos (5 string; long neck; tenor), mandolins, and ukuleles (soprano, concert, and tenor. No baritone. Yet! akoulele). For a time I made myself a rule: no new instrument “in” until I sent one “out”!
    Maybe sometime (when I retire?) we can get together and … play!

  2. Ed Dowling Says:

    Nice to see you reveling in your element. – Ed

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