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PAUL SCHMIDT BIO

 Excerpt from Paul's Acquired of the Angels Book Paul Schmidt is perhaps best known internationally for his literary contributions regarding America's musical instrument history. His book about master luthiers John D'Angelico and James D'Aquisto - "Acquired of the Angels" (Scarecrow Press, 1991. 2nd edition, 1998.) was the first book ever published recounting the lives and works of perhaps the most celebrated guitar makers of the 20th century. History of Ludwig Drum Company Book

His "The History of the Ludwig Drum Company" (Centerstream Publications, 1991) was the first book ever published devoted exclusively to the documentation of percussion instruments and their development in 20th century America.

the Art That Sings

Schmidt's book "Art That Sings" Doctorow Communications, 2003) features the guitar artistry of Steve Klein - one whom many feel is among the most inventive guitar designers of the last two centuries.

Kissing on Stilts

In addition to being an internationally-published author, Paul's other experiences/ventures/contributions include:

  • co-founder of the National Music Center - educational component of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
  • received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Selmer Corporation
  • released five albums of original songs
  • performed and guest-lectured at concert halls, colleges, universities, and museums throughout the U.S.
  • served as curator and consultant for various museums and private instrument collectors internationally
  • appeared as an artist/scholar in the media internationally (print, radio, television)
  • earned advanced degrees in both music and theology
Reviews

Paul News

" ... ground-breaking scholarship"
Metropolitan Museum of Art

" ... truly brilliant, very heartfelt and ever so romantic"
Wm. F. Ludwig Jr. - former president of the Ludwig Drum Company

" ... a truly wonderful and carefully prepared book"
American Lutherie Magazine (article by Linda Manzer)

" ... truly beautiful"
Oakland Museum of California

" ... it's top drawer!"
James L. D'Aquisto, pre-eminent 20th-century luthier

" ... inspiring ... masterful ... exemplary artistry, talent, and scholarship ... excellent presentation ... very highly recommended!"
Museum of Making Music

"These are great!"
Billy Gibbons, Z Z Topp

"I liked the songs we did, and I really liked Paul's concernedness"
nine year old music student

"Paul Schmidt writes with exceptional clarity, elegance, and that special grace"
Jonathan Kellerman, best-selling novelist

"Schmidt does a fine job"
Smithsonian Institution

"... intelligent ... a remakable wordsmith ... rivals the elegiac verses of the 17th century poets"
Cleveland Plain Dealer

"... guitar expert, Paul Schmidt"
Acoustic Guitar Magazine

"... this is really interesting work!"
CKLN public radio, Toronto

"... musically very graceful, well constructed form, excellent guitar playing and tasteful use of ancially instruments ... reflective and loving poetry, at times almost ethereal - sincere and accomplished work "
Tri-C JazzFest - America's Premier Educational Jazz Festival

"... great singing, and I love the songs"
Keith Barrow, CBS Records

"fantastic performance"
Guild of American Luthiers

Paul’s Perspective on The Art of Music
"My experience has been that beauty is a deep revelation of the Divine.

As a musician I was always interested in musical instruments and how certain instruments spoke to me both musically and visually. Like most musicians, I was drawn to specific instruments, and I pondered what it was that stirred me musically - the tone colours, sensitivity to nuance, how it invited ideas; and how it struck me sensually and visually - the lines, textures, colours, and the atmosphere it created. Some things were obvious and some reamain(ed) a mystery, but I was always quite aware of what worked and how it affected me.

My personal experiences with instrument makers like Jimmy D'Aquisto, Bill Ludwig, and Steve Klein, (among others) nourished my enthusiasms, and I began pondering 'what ifs?' to those makers, some of which made for new discoveries for all of us. I had a drum invention in 1981 that solved a musical problem for me (wanting a tom-tom that produced a deep full tone with natural decay and dissipating-quickly overtones), and several years later it appeared in "Modern Drummer Magazine" as a 'try this' sort of invitation to experiment. I ordered a guitar from the Martin custom shop when it first opened in 1983 and had fun piecing together aspects of certain instruments to create something 'new'.

Other projects like those occurred over the years until I thought it might be really interesting to do this with more focus and vigour. I'm not a collector (and I'm not rich!), so I didn't want to keep making instruments just for myself. Spending much time pondering "what would be really lovely and exciting", The Art of Music was born."

 
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