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L'artigianu

lutemaker

When I was 16, I really wanted to buy a Cetera, but nobody was making it anymore… I didn’t have the means for paying a lute maker by myself, so I had this slightly crazy idea to built it on my own ! And it all started here …
— Ugo
 

About Ugo Casalonga

Ugo Casalonga is a maker of musical instruments since 1982, a specialist of Cetera (Corsican Cittern) and early musics instruments. He set up the luthier’s house “A Casa Liutaiu” with the ambition to revive forgotten Corsican instruments.

For over 35 years, Ugo keeps surprising with singular instrument creations, subtly combining art and craft. Based in the village of Pigna (Balagna, Nothern-Corsica) Ugo creates, makes and repairs all kind of stringed instruments: plucked stringed instruments like guitar; keyboard instruments like piano and bowed stringed instruments like violon. His refined yet eclectic craftsmanship led him to serve the most discerning musicians.

“I attach particular interest in traditional Corsican musical instruments. The study of the cittern family instruments, from the Middle Ages till today, are very rewarding daily research for the evolution of my work; as so are the meetings with musicians coming from different musical backgrounds. I take my inspiration in my workshop, based in Pigna, self-built in rammed earth and terracotta vaults, with two main work spaces: machine tools and assembling, wood supply and varnishing space.“

 

high-grade raw materials

Premium local woods:
Noce (walnut), Sorbu (rowan), Cipressu (cypress), Bussu (boxwood), Chjarasgiu (cherry), Robinia (robinia), Frassu (ash).

Other species: spruce from Jura or Italian Alps (Val di Flemme), maple from Jura, rosewood and ebony...

 

Craft Manufacturing

Each instrument is entirely made at the workshop in Pigna along traditional lines, with close attention to details to satisfy the musician.

Naturally dried wood, hygrometry control, gluing with hot glue. Shellac lacquer and finish with organic walnut oil.

 
 

custom made instruments

The conception of a custom instrument for a musician requires joined-up thinking to create a one-off piece of craft, that will best match client’s wishes. Selection of the woods, desired style, specific sonority, this cannot be improvised when creating a unique piece.

 
 
To know. Wanting to know a single culture. Its own, is to condemn itself to live under a candle snuffer.
— Paul Veyne, Palmyre