His quest to overcome the guitar’s technical limitations led Paul Galbraith to develop a new instrument, which would better answer to his musical needs. Wishing to play the works of Bach in their original versions, as well as transcriptions of a wide range of music including Brahms, he conceived the idea of a guitar with two extra strings surrounding the traditional six – one lower and one higher. In order to dedicate himself fully to this new project, Galbraith suspended his concert activity in the early nineties. He went, as he’d done previously, to the renowned English luthier, David Rubio, who since 1983 had already made two six string guitars for Galbraith at his request.
“It was really miraculous”, says Galbraith, evaluating Rubio’s work on the eight string Brahms Guitar”, which first came into being as a prototype completed during the last days of 1993. “Having had the widest possible experience making so many different types of instruments, including all kinds of lutes, the entire bowed string family, even harpsichords – all at the highest level – Rubio was the ideal person to build this instrument, in being able to conserve the essence of the guitar”, he feels.