Ulrich Teuffel, Germany

"The Lisboa earthquake marked the beginning of the end of the European absolutism and set free the starting process of enlightenment. With a catastrophe of such an extreme dimension taking place in a orthodox country, destroying almost all churches on All Saint's day but sparing the red-light district, philosophers all over Europe were doubting theodicy.

As a result of the enlightenment the individual person was set into the focus of cultural production. While in baroque music musicians were synchronized members in a group performance now the musician as an individual genius was born: the god-like soloist. The space for the prodigy became bigger and bigger from Giuseppe Tartini to Niccolo Paganini to eventually Jimi Hendrix. The path to the genius required louder instruments instead of multiple orchestral parts and this lead finally to the electric guitar with its almost infinite aural resources and power."

Ulrich is best known for his «BirdFish» guitar, a radical deconstruction of the electric guitar. Similar to the historical enlightenment period, this instrument opened up possibilities away from the prevailing orthodoxy and reframed the discussion of what constitutes a guitar. Overall, Ulrich sets out to explore what else a guitar can be other than what we are used to see and he approaches guitar building as a cultural exploration of the guitar. His instruments do their job in several museums, as well as in the hands of artists such as David Torn, Kirk Hammet, Billy Gibbons or Hans Zimmer.