Our World Luthier and author join forces at Perth Festival Writers Week

There Are Strings Attached. No, it’s not a dodgy contract, it is actually the name of a performance to be presented by The West Australian’s Travel editor, Stephen Scourfield.

Scourfield, who is also an author, is working on the special performance with luthier and musician Scott Wise for Perth Festival Writers Week. 

“Scott and I have been friends for 30 years — there are certainly strings attached there,” Scourfield says.

“As a luthier in Margaret River, Scott makes stringed instruments and stays very close to the sources of his timber — from Alaska to India, Australia to Europe, and many other places.

“I have deep attachments to the same places and a lifelong interest in stringed instruments.”

This will all come together in conversation, performance and music at the one-off lunch in The University Club of Western Australia’s restaurant on February 23. 

“I might even play one of the five instruments Scott has made me, and you’re unlikely to see that again,” Scourfield says.

Discover the secrets of travel writing... and more

Duration: 01m06s

Scourfield says Wise’s stringed instruments are bespoke and sought after.

“His ukes are highly thought of in Hawaii (yes, that’s like exporting ice to Inuits). His 500th instrument, a tenor ukulele, was commissioned by the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona,” he says.

“I have one of Scott’s soprano ukes with a body made from Acacia melanoxylon (the same as my Wise tenor uke) and a fingerboard of wandoo (the same as my Wise mandolin). The head veneer is jarrah.

“My wife, Virginia Ward’s, is of peppermint. Scott set a little heart into the fingerboard. I’ve never questioned him about this.”

(Top image: Scott Wise in his Margaret River workshop. Picture: Stephen Scourfield)

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