A visit to Jose Romanillos

Last week I had the immense privilege (with and introduced by my friend Miguel Bernardo) of visiting Jose Romanillos. Back home, the arid and almost deserted hills and towns of central Spain with their bitter wind, and that wonderful old man and his sweet wife seem like an impossible dream. The bad news is the museum in Siguenza has been closed due to lack of support from the authorities. There is some hope it will be moved to an university. His long awaited book on guitar construction is finished but the publisher has some health problems and we need to wait a little more.

Señor Romanillos was kind enough to show us two instruments: his latest (I hope not his last although due to frail health and arthritis he is not really able to work much these days) with a multi-piece very old Brazilian body and a stunning wide rosette, and another made of cypress named Marian after his lovely wife. The rosewood guitar had Torres bracing and gut strings. I was too melted to even properly tune the string not to mention playing anything properly but it sounded quite beautiful, with a sweet yet very clear tone. He also showed us his workshop which was very interesting. Not sure what else to say…

5 thoughts on “A visit to Jose Romanillos

  1. Thank you, Alexandru, for publishing this “report” also at the internationally known Delcamp Forum

    I stay with hope that the results of your visit to Señor Romanillos will have most positive influence on your own creativity (yes, creativity as luthiery is for many of us a field of applied art). I know plenty of similar visits and their most positive influences in other fields of applied art. Then I hope that the museum in Siguenza, or more precisely: objects that were exhibited there will continue being on display and in general serving as testimony of history and culture. Finally I keep my fingers crossed for the book by Señor Romanillos to be published in print as soon as possible. Is there a chance for English language edition ?

  2. Ad Dendum:
    As long as the museum is closed we may take a virtual tour at the Señor José Romanillos Spanish Guitar and Vihuela Museum – Sigüenza

    Most interesting conversations by Luthier and Instructor, Robert O’Brien, with Señor Jose Romanillos:

  3. Reblogged this on Marius Cruceru and commented:
    Alexandru Marian, ghitarirerul in cea mai mare ascendență în aceste zile în spațiul Carpato-Balcanico-Pontic, a făcut o vizită istorică, o călătorie aproape inițiatică. Cît îl invidiez! Bravo! În felul acesta putem afla mai multe despre Jose Romanillos și despre muzeul lui, muzeu care este în primejdie din pricina unei obtuzități birocratice, la fel ca la rromînika. Nimic nou sub soare!

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