Six String Nation by Jowi Taylor

Six String Nation

byJowi Taylor

Paperback | April 27, 2009

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A musical quilt, this unique guitar becomes a passionate metaphor for Canada.

The Six String Nation guitar, Voyageur, is made from sixty-seven pieces of Canadian history: Pierre Trudeau's canoe paddle is a tone bar, the Grey Nuns convent in Winnipeg-once a classroom to Louis Riel-makes up the back and sides, Paul Henderson's hockey stick from the 1972 Canada/Russia Summit Series is a detail on the pickguard, the sacred Golden Spruce of Haida Gwaii forms the top face and gold from Maurice Richard's 1955-56 Stanley Cup ring adorns the ninth fret.

Thanks to a crazed determination to share this guitar and his impassioned vision of Canada with as many Canadians as possible, Taylor has taken the guitar to festivals, conferences, schools and community events, from sea to sea to sea. Along the way, countless citizens have added their own definitions of what it means to be Canadian, either through music or the very act of engaging with this object that is at once artifact and living instrument. Six String Nation allows them to, literally, hold history in their hands-and add a little harmony of their own.

Illustrated with documentary photos and gorgeous portraits of the people that Voyageur has encountered, Six String Nation chronicles the journey of one special guitar, from conception through construction to the road it still travels across our land.

About The Author

Jowi Taylor is the Peabody Award-winning freelance writer, host and producer behind such CBC Radio projects as The Wire, The Nerve, Global Village and ""Invisible Cities."" The 2009 summer tour of the Six String Nation guitar will start in June with Luminato festival in Toronto. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Details & Specs

Title:Six String NationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 9 × 8 × 0.38 inPublished:April 27, 2009Publisher:Douglas And McIntyre (2013) Ltd.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1553653939

ISBN - 13:9781553653936

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents IntroductionThe inspiration- theory and philosophy of the project Thoughts on Canadian identity Building the 6SN Guitar Where the idea came from How George the luthier got involved Collecting the materials Building of the guitar Its debut Significance of The Longest RoadWhat the Project Means defined by the people who encounter it significance of Voyageur Louis Riel: rebel / when you're dead Connections (personal, musical, national, local)Thoughts on "Unity" Ceci n'est pas un "Unity Project" What the Project's Impact Has Been Being played by certain musicians travels to particular places schools ways it's been used by musicians, teachers, students inspiration for coin, mural etc Fred - country doctor - VeriginWhere the Guitar Had Been: Travels and Travelling travelling with the guitar - arguing it onto the plane but having it embraced by flight staff security the yellow case - Manitoba chief playing it in the airport loungeThe arc of the project - whither the Six String Nation guitar? hopes for the long term what you hope the project will accomplish as opposed to what specifically happens to the GUITARWhat the guitar is - what it's made of descriptions of each piece interspersed with images throughout the bookNotes bibliography biographies: Jowi, Doug, George, Sandor, SarahInterviews / Contributors George the luthier Doug Mark & Kyrie Mark Kingwell David Suzuki Laurie Brown Andy Stochansky Poems by Robert Dickson Stephen Fearing Guujaaw Natalie from Festival du Voyageur Gallagher Parkinson Philippe Mailhot

Editorial Reviews

“Collectively, these relics sound like the contents of a small and somewhat eccentric museum of Canadiana. And so they are—except that this museum makes sweet music when it’s strummed, because this repository of true-north iconography is an acoustic guitar.’—Georgia Straight “The Voyageur was a true labour of love for this writer, radio host and producer, involving some science, some alchemy, and a whole lot of hard work. Six String Nation, the book chronicling the Voyageur (and Taylor's) journey from an initial idea to a very tangible reality, was published just over two months ago. It paints a vivid picture of Canada through stunning portraiture and insightful interviews with a wide range of people who contributed to the project, or who had the opportunity to try their hand at playing the Voyageur once it was finally finished.”—Pique News Magazine “Illustrated with documentary photos and gorgeous portraits of the people that the Voyageur has encountered, Six String Nation chronicles the journey of one special guitar, from conception through construction to the road it still travels across our land.”—Whistler Question“Jowi Taylor's book, his guitar, and his remarkable quest to bring an object ‘made from hockey sticks and canoe paddles and grain elevators and baseboards and boats and antlers,’ to as many Canadians as possible, to have it played by as many Canadians as possible, are a uniquely Canadian endeavor, a synthesis of all the different ways there are to ‘be Canadian.’”—Boing Boing “Our single-minded concept of ‘a real American’ excludes our neighbors to the south, and the north. Many Canadians are more circumspect over just what ‘Canadian-ness’ is. Canadians tend to look more critically at the genocide of ‘first nations’ people, at identity, at sovereign populations and policies. From this tentative nationalism comes Six String Nation, an idea, a book, a website and one composite guitar making its way across Canada.”—New Hampshire Public Radio"Jowi Taylor, a Toronto broadcaster…set out in 1995 to create an object more quintessentially Canadian then hockey, Tim Horton’s doughnuts, insulin, the CN Tower and Lake Louise. Eleven years later, he was able to hold it in his hands – an acoustic guitar made from 64 bits of Canadian history.”—Vancouver Sun“The guitar…has been photographed in the hands of Canadian celebrities, politicians and everyday people from coast to coast, many of whose pictures are included in Taylor’s new account of the guitar’s creation.”—Globe and Mail“Six String Nation is a reminder of the power and position of music in Canada today. Putting everything else aside, maybe it is music that holds this nation together, the magic of singing and playing that unites us: Acadians, Quebecois, Albertans, First Nations Peoples, Metis, Ontarians, men, women, professional musicians and amateur pickers alike.”—Owen Sound Times“Anyone struck with the sentimental, lunatic, and brilliant inspiration to gather up physical fragments of iconic Canadiana and then have them somehow woven into the undulating, resonant carapace of a guitar would have no choice but to act on the impulse. Jowi Taylor is that person and, along with a merry band of quixotic fellow travelers, he has engineered a small miracle: a guitar that's also a country that's also a journey that's also story that's also the past that's also the future that's also the here and now. All of it is beautifully documented in Six String Nation, a marvelous and optimistic and quintessentially Canadian book.”—Bill Richardson