With strings attached

With strings attached

As a 10-year-old child, Cyril Lewis would sit beside his father Noel Lewis and watch him work effortlessly at making musical instruments that were one-of-a-kind.

He would help his father before he left for school and assist him again, after he returned.
Cyril lost his father as a young boy but he had picked up the trade of making musical instruments by then. He now has a lot of people asking him to custom-make instruments for them.

What began as a passion, turned into a full-time profession for Cyril who has also taught his sons the trade. His children are associated with music and musical instruments in one form of the other.

 He recollects that he grew up amidst musical instruments. “As a child, I never got bored of spending hours just fiddling with the musical instruments lying around the house,” he recalls.

He also states that there’s a deep connection between music and his marriage.
“Making musical instruments is the first and the only thing I’ve ever known and I also married the very first girl I met. My bond with both music and marriage has only grown and strengthened over the years,” he beams.  

Cyril points out that anything that he sees around him fuels his imagination and gives him the idea to make a new instrument.

 “The idea of a stool inspired me to make the ‘Cajon Drum’ which resembles a rectangle box where the musician can sit on it and play. Each side of the drum gives you a different sound,” he says. He says that he also invented a miniature form of the veena.

 “I also designed and made the big veena to a mini size electric veena. This will help the artist carry the instrument, especially when they travel overseas. I also made in built pickups for acoustic violins with tone and volume control,” he says.

This required a lot of thought and imagination, he says. “It didn’t happen overnight, it took me several rounds of trial and error to get it right and when I did, I was thrilled,” he smiles.

Walk into his quaint little shop, tucked away in the sleepy streets of Benson
Town and you notice that it stocks some of the best instruments with enviable variations in guitars, violins and drums.

 You would never imagine that you could buy an instrument that has guitar and drum — all built in one. Cyril has designed a six-string guitar with drums.

 “This guitar has six-strings and two drums on either side. You could use it as a guitar, mix guitar and drums and also get the same instrument to sound like a Banjo guitar,” observesCyril.

Cyril’s eyesight is not as perfect as it used to be but he still finds time to spend working on the instruments.

“My sight isn’t that good but I still try to make something new or understand how I can assimilate technology when making a new instrument,” he concludes.

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