Ray Vincent is the creative talent responsible for designing and building these works of musical art. They are first and foremost playable instruments, though obviously, as the photos make clear, these are gorgeous one-of-a-kind pieces made by a master craftsman. Makes you want to grab one and make beautiful music, right?
“All instruments are made right here in my little workshop in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada,” he says. “I have always loved making music, tinkering with things, and truly believe in sound therapy. Music is the universal language.”
Vincent began his musical journey as a guitarist, then ventured into audio-tech work.
“I have enjoyed a life surrounded by music and have grown to appreciate the power of it,” he says. “That also sparked an interest in creating instruments [that] hospice workers and sound healers can use.”
Vincent specializes in all things stringed: mandolin, guitar, yukulele, banjo, lap harps, you name it. He’s mostly self-taught as a craftsman and says he feels a connection with every custom project. Because every musician is unique, he works with customers to build their perfect instruments, deciding on whether it should be acoustic or electric, fretted or unfretted, and determining string and size preferences.
“Each one of these instruments is like a painting with nature exploding out of it,” he says. “The woods I have chosen and the flow of things will determine the final look and sound of the instrument.”
Aromatic cedar, walnut, rosewood, mahogany, cherry, maple and oak are just some of the woods he enjoys working with.
One customer raved about his custom Root 5 (see photo below):
“You play it with the pick and you get into some ancestral, medieval state, in between Irish echoes, dusty Mid-Eastern locations and Indian courts. Once you start playing with the bow, you fluctuate between India and Europe.”
Using reclaimed leftover wood, Vincent ensures that his process is eco-friendly, and also that each piece in genuinely one-of-a-kind.
“I want the buyer to instantly feel this connection to the instrument through the creativity I have put there, so when they play, they feel alive with all the tones of the instrument,” he explains.
Every Ray’s Roots instrument is more than a pretty face, as you’ll learn when you listen to them. But of course there’s no denying their beauty. Luckily, Vincent also makes handsome wall hangers so that you can proudly display your mandolin or banjo and bask in copious compliments.
So, whether you want to delight your ears, your eyes or both, Ray Vincent is definitely your man.