Los Angeles native, bassist and luthier, Ralph Alcala, was an apprentice to world-renowned bass luthier, Jon Peterson, at World of Strings in Long Beach, CA for 9 years. He then went on to work at Lemur Music in San Juan Capistrano, CA and just one year later began working under his own shop Alcala Luthiery. Mr. Alcala has attended several bass building workshops including the prestigious Oberlin Bass Workshop, and the ground breaking ISB-Build a Bass Workshop, where they built a bass in just one week! He has also donated several hours to the Encuentro Latinoamericano de Contrabajos, Baja California, a bass camp held yearly in Tijuana, Mexico. There he has fixed several basses for the underprivileged students that have traveled from all over Mexico.
Recently Mr. Alcala spent a year in Cleveland repairing instruments for students at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory and for Musicians from the Cleveland Symphony. While in Cleveland he began learning the art of bow making for Rodney Mohr and has recently sold his first bass bow.
Gilles Duhaut strives to keep up the tradition which has earned the French School of Bowmaking its reputation throughout the world.
Gilles uses only the finest materials. Pernambouco
wood is scrupulously chosen and selected to obtain the difficult compromise between elasticity, flexibility and tautness of the stick, in the steps of the grand French Masters of the 19th Century.
Less effort is required to produce a rigid bow, which is also easier to use.
Gilles Duhaut strives to combine the strength of a rigid bow and the powerful sonority of a flexible bow in his creations. His personal aim is to satisfy the player's ear, because the musician's hand is guided by the sound.
Moreover, he works on his bows in order to provide a comfortable grip and easy play. The musician must become oblivious of his bow to immerse himself completely in the music.
His bows are entirely handmade, thus guaranteeing the originality of each piece. In the same spirit, Gilles Duhaut makes bows for violin, alto, cello and doublebass as well.
Gilles Duhaut believes that an instrument player is first and foremost a musician rather than a technician. This is the reason why he constantly strives to refine the resonance of a bow, being convinced that the strength of the sound produced by an instrument can be modified by the bow.