Born in 1956, Andrea Tacchi grew up in the magical city of Florence during a period when it was full of artisan studios and workshops where it was possible to find countless quality artifacts fashioned by good craftsmen. From an early age and with great imagination, Andrea made many articles from various materials that he would find. In his teenage years he made several relatively crude guitars before later meeting an Argentinian exile, Ricardo Brané who had moved to the Chianti region and after various careers, himself had started to make guitars and lutes. Having learned much from Ricardo Brané, the friendship was cut short by Brané’s early death at age 44.
During the 1980’s, Andrea Tacchi met and spent time with Robert Bouchet and Daniel Friederich and from both of these legendary makers, learned many practical things; the making of tools and jigs, often with reference to a copy of Robert Bouchet’s workshop notes, as well as gaining inspiration about the spiritual path of instrument making from which the physical craft becomes art.
Additional opportunities of meeting and learning from other fine makers Robert Ruck, Ignacio Fleta and José Romanillos added much to Andrea’s understanding of the guitar-maker’s craft.
In the mid-1990’s, Andrea Tacchi was moved to make the first of what would become many replicas of a Robert Bouchet guitar. Similarly he produced many replicas or ‘Omaggio’s to the work of the Barcelona masters, Enrique Garcia and Francisco Simplicio.
Utilising or perhaps driven by his imaginative mind and wanting to try new ideas, Andrea developed two concert guitar models; the Coclea and Thucea, entirely of his own design. The Coclea is born out of a very structured and geometric approach to the shape, dimensions and weights of the principal components. The Thucea with its combination of spruce and cedar in the soundboard originates from observing and admiring the sound qualities of some guitars such as Torres with three or four-piece soundboards and extending that idea into applying the two different woods to the guitar front. These instruments are of course very different from the ‘Omaggio’ models but similarly they have strong advocates amongst many good players and professional performers around the world.
At Kent Guitar Classics, we are extremely fortunate to be able to have at least one guitar; usually the ‘Omaggio a Robert Bouchet’ model, from Andrea Tacchi each year. Having spent a couple of days together in and around the Florence workshop, we had good opportunity to look through some of his extraordinary quality wood stock and to discover our mutual likes and dislikes. We look forward eagerly to the next guitar.