Who is Roman Rist? If you don’t know, I’ll tell you. Roman Rist is an US luthier that has seen it all for a long time. He’s been involved in tons of projects over the years relating to “wood”, good wood, vintage wood, old growth wood, 1959 Les Paul guitars, “Max” Guitars and a lot more.
I dare call him a “friend” although we have never met in person. But he’s one of those folks who you just feel attracted to because of his simple ways, wisdom, gray hair, modesty and hard work.
On the My Les Paul Forum – while browsing my daily dose – I came to this post of his, where he was humbly mentioning his view on “Mojo” (i.e., not properly defined as “the feeling a guitar has”):
Ah, let’s see, Magic. If you think I am out of my mind I care not. I know what I know to be true (for me).
Magic is just a human “politically correct” term to describe things of the spirit. It has that essence of mystery and is used to generically describe things that cannot be explained.
Ok, back to the spirit. Earlier I stated that the spiritual world operates on a different set of rules than does the material or physical world. Yet people try to understand and define the spiritual in physical terms.
In the physical world we are surrounded by energy. We try to control, manipulate, capture, and utilize energy.
With the spirit it is quite simple. The spirit is a source of energy. Unlimited energy.
Scientists try to attribute this spiritual source of energy to physical causes because they do not understand it, or possibly, because they don’t like it and seek to contain it.
I will give you a few examples of energy.
You walk into a room. You can tell that minutes ago an argument occurred, although on the surface all seems normal. It is the residual energy of that fight.
You are at a party or other event where you don’t know most of the people.
You feel some one looking at you. You turn and there is this blonde who has that sheepish just got busted look on her face. What made you turn? She threw a beam of energy at you that you felt.
The phone rings…………you know it is Bob. Again an energy beam is thrown at you
You walk into a room, and instantly can tell that the people in it have been talking shit about you. On the surface, they are all happy to see you……..but you know. It is the residual energy of the shit talking session.
Gays and women have this thing called “Gaydar”. Even when one is not appearing to be homosexual….they know. Heterosexual males are usually not in tune with this wave length. But as a general rule a gay man can spot another gay man at a mile away…………………..pheromones? Nope energy.
Have you ever been walking on a city street, where up ahead of you is a woman who’s butt you happen to have been staring at? Suddenly she snaps her head around and you are busted. She knows you were looking as her. How? She felt your energy beam directed at her.
Have you ever seen a dead body? They do not look like they are asleep. They look dead…………void of life. The spirit and the energy they produced is gone and all you have left is the meat.
I could go on and on for days with different examples, but the point is this;
The spirit is a source of energy and we are all our own spirit. it is not a part of us, but rather who we really are.
Back to guitars……………We and everyone who has touched that instrument have endowed it with our own spiritual energy.
Some call it Magic, some Mojo. But it IS real……….we just cannot measure it.
While browsing Rist Guitars, I have found a statement which embodies (but I didn’t know about it) exactly what I had been thinking for some time.
Here it is to YOU:
I have found, through years of repairs, even a mediocre instrument can be made to sound great…without changing electronics! How? by changing the feel, making the instrument feel better an instrument that feels good sounds better because it becomes more part of the player and easier to work with. A good feeling guitar or bass is a joy to play and you will play better!
Why not make it feel like part of you from the start? My Goal is to give you that. years of restorations have taught me that it is possible to have a brand new guitar or bass feel like an old friend