Paradise City Press was fortunate to have a sit down interview with musician and inventor of the archguitar, Peter Blanchette, earlier this summer.
He began the session by performing two short pieces, "Recoupe-La Magdalena" and "Sarabande."
After the short performance, Peter was kind enough to answer a few questions about inventing the archguitar and his time busking across Europe.
Peter was inspired to invent the archguitar in 1982. He wanted an instrument with more strings and a larger range so he could play the renaissance lute style music that had captured his interest in late adolescence. Blanchette's mentor and professor at Boston Conservatory of Music, Walter Stanul, built an instrument to his specifications.
The final instrument was outfitted with 11 strings, wide bridge, and body resembling that of a traditional guitar.
Within weeks of receiving his instrument, Peter left for Europe, where he spent most of the next 14 years (1978-1992). Walter joined him after a year and the pair traveled all over the continent playing their music and selling tapes and CDs in city squares and parks.
Since his return to the United States, Peter Blanchette has been recognized over and over for his contributions to music. Some notable examples include receiving New England Public Radio Foundation's Arts and Humanities Award for outstanding individual artist, being commissioned to compose scores for two Buster Keaton silent films by the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, contributing to shows on HBO and USA Network/NBC, and having his music played on various local radio stations in western Massachusetts.
Please enjoy our interview with this renowned artist.