December 12, 2023

Manzer Pikasso Pat Methany

Okay, breathe deeply; when we’ve modified our guitars to the hilt will it then be time to modify our bodies?

“I’ve gotta gig this weekend, can I install a couple of extra sets of hands please Doc?” This Manzer custom build for Pat Methany features 42 strings…and yes Pat is still only using two normal hands of five digits only.

This remarkable guitar is known as the Pikasso guitar, after its likeness to the cubist paintings of twentieth century artist-genius-pioneer Pablo Picasso.

The Pikasso guitar was built for him by luthier Linda Manzer in 1984 and can be heard on his song “Into the Dream” and on the albums Quartet, Imaginary Day, Jim Hall & Pat Metheny, Trio Live, and Metheny Mehldau Quartet his 2007 second collaboration with pianist Brad Mehldau. The guitar can also be seen on the Speaking of Now Live and Imaginary Day DVDs. Pat Metheny has also used the guitar in various guest appearances on other artists’ albums and on the Legends of Jazz TV show, where he referred to it simply as a 42- string guitar.

The body is tapered so that the side closest to the player is thinner than the side that rests on the players knee, thus leaning the top back towards the player for a more aerial view. This is also more comfortable under the player’s arm.

The instrument is outfitted with a complete state of the art piezo pickup system including a hexaphonic pickup on the 6 string section that allowed Metheny to access his Syclavier computer system thus triggering any sound including sampled sounds.There are even two mounting holes on the treble side so that the guitar can be mounted on internal brass insets attaching to a stand, leaving hands free for playing or viewing.

There is some frequency of the guitars appearance in the early cubist works of one of the twentieth century’s greatest minds and artists Pablo Picasso.

Picasso first began to explore the instrument in the South East of France in Ceret, near Perpignan. The steady rhythm of the sardana Catalan dance served as the model for Picasso’s choice of geometric shapes and provide the defining characteristic of and backbone for his Cubist paintings. Cubism was invented around 1907 in Paris by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. There is a certain movement and expressive musicality in the omniscient cubist perspective.

Cubism had two distinct phases. The early phase which lasted until about 1912 was called Analytical Cubism. Here the artist analysed the subject from many different viewpoints and reconstructed it within a geometric framework, the overall effect of which was to create an image that evoked a sense of the subject. These fragmented images were unified by the use of a subdued and limited palette of colours.

With this structure in place, the Céret music’s freedom and energy gave Picasso a goal to achieve with his own art, and we witnessed Picasso’s progression as he incorporated these elements into his guitar paintings.

Cubism was born in France but emigrated across Europe and integrated with the artistic consciousness of several countries. It emerged as Futurism in Italy, Vorticism in England, Suprematism and Constructivism in Russia, and Expressionism in Germany. It also influenced several of the major design and architectural styles of the 20th century and prevails to this day as mode of expression in the language of art.

Well, That`s all folks,

Jake Edwards

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