Chris Larkin has dedicated himself to the art of guitar making, and he has fans and customers all over the world.
Based in Castlegregory, Co. Kerry, Chris Larkin makes guitars mainly for the international market, exhibiting at the World Music Fair in Frankfurt every year.
From mandolins to electric guitars, to archtop jazz guitars and stick bases, Chris can make every type of guitar. It all started when he saved up to purchase a guitar from a well known brand. After a while, he began to see the faults in it and thought he could make a better one himself. He did, and the rest is history.
He talks to reporter Fiona McCarthy about the process of creating an instrument, and the painstaking and detailed work that goes into it,
All the way through, at every stage, you’re aware of how you’re trying to make the instrument sound, so all the time you’re working towards the goal of the customer, the goal that you’ve set for yourself, and you can’t really afford to make a mistake. Everything you do, every part of making, goes toward the final sound.
John McGrath and Ray Murphy who perform on guitars made by Chris Larkin appreciate the high level of craftsmanship put into each instrument. John McGrath first came across Chris’ guitars in English magazines,
After that then I actually spotted a few of his instruments around, as soon as I started to play them, I was very impressed.
The greatest pleasure for Chris is listening to musicians play on instruments he has made,
I can make them the best that I can, but I’m not a great player. When you hear somebody that is really good, loves what they’re doing, picks up the instrument, loves the instrument, and makes it work, then that’s the fantastic treasure, that’s really where it’s at.
A Nationwide report broadcast on 1 August 1997. The reporter is Fiona McCarthy.