Talking Guitars, an intimate portrait on film of master guitar craftsman and now Island resident Flip Scipio, will screen tonight, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. at the Katharine Cornell Theatre.
This behind-the-scenes music documentary illustrates the fascinating juxtaposition of the quiet artist and the world of musicians who seek his expertise. His clients include Jackson Browne, David Lindley, Ben Taylor, Paul Simon, David Tronzo, Leni Stern and Carly Simon. For himself music is like Esperanto, a universal language.
Mr. Scipio will be the special guest for an open question and answer session afterwards.
The film is a musical journey with Scipio between his workshop in New York — sitting face to face with his famous clients — and back at his parents’ house in the small town of Heiloo in The Netherlands. Listening to Across the Borderline by Ry Cooder, Scipio talks about the immigrant blues: “You follow a promise that is never fulfilled.”
The camera reveals the story of his fascination with the material, his workmanship and his love for the instrument. He caresses the strings, taps the sound box and takes in the scent of the wood.
His customers praise the magical sound of his guitars: Jackson Browne remarks, “He is an obsessive person.” Leni Stern says, “He talks to the wood.” Mr. Scipio himself is down-to-earth about his work: “I feel that I’m just a tool rather than being someone who creates things.”
The documentary is 72 minutes long and not rated.