Glenn Robertson can get a bit mystical about the mandolin, a smallish stringed instrument that emits a sound that seems to traverse time and space. Each one he makes has a unique voice, a personality if you will.
“The mandolins themselves tell me when they’re done,” Robertson says.
Robertson and Bobbie Cirillo have devoted their lives to handcrafting mandolins in Missouri. They use aged cuts of wood — most notably, salvaged cedar from an Alaskan forest fire in 1934 — to craft custom instruments.
“You can only be as good as the mandolin you play,” says Robertson, who has been playing since he was 5 years old.
In college, a professor told Robertson that he needed a better instrument to fulfill his potential, so his father helped him make his first handcrafted mandolin.
The result is Moon Beam Mandolins. To learn more, watch the attached video.
“Sounds of the Soul” is a Flatland arts series produced by G10 Creative. Watch for digital shorts publishing online Thursdays through July 9, then tune in at 7:30 p.m. July 16 on KCPT for the full 30-minute documentary.