Christian Magdeleine

Maker of guitars and citterns (Corsican Cetera)

At a very early age i became fond of classical guitar and i spent 5 years studying with this instrument. After this early period an idea slowly grew, which later turned into the project of becoming a professional guitar maker.

Starting in 1982 i completed several periods of intense training and then started to study cabinet making, obtaining CAP qualification (NVQ equivalent) in order to later make my dream come true. This happened in 1985 after i completed a 2 year apprenticeship at luthier's Bruno Perrin's workshop.

Back in Bastia in 1991, i created my own workshop in the heart of the town's stronghold. From there i designed my first instruments, mixing intuition and reflection to shape the kind of sonorities i was looking for.

Still passionate about classical guitar i have made nylon-stringed instruments my chosen field of expertise by developing many classical, electro-acoustic and jazz models.

On the other hand, i looked into the many different possibilities for a technical improvement of the 'A cetera' (cister). This being the traditional Corsican instrument, therefore being of much interest and intrigue to me .

This instrument disappeared at the beginning of the twentieth century and has been rehabilitated in the seventies thanks to the work of the association : 'E voce di u cumune'.

I strove to design a modern version of this seventeeth century instrument, contributing to its revival in contemporary Corsican music. Not forgetting its widespread popularity beyond Corsican shores.

My partnership with the sound archives department of the Museum of Corsica also allowed me to complete some historical and organological researches about the cister.

I regularly restore instruments from the museums collection and have recently started a project to measure and catalogue its collection of cisters that were played in past times. By creating an accurate database i hope there will be much helpful information that can be of practical use for those who would like to play, study or build the instrument in the years to follow.

As a member of the UNFI i have a close, working relationship with the contemporary French guitar builders movement. I also play an active part in community life while i work on my professional projects (proof readings, time spent on technical training and reflections on the guitar makers trade)

At my workshop i dedicate my time to working on my creations. Each individual instrument being unique from any other. I also spend time on restoration, repairs and servicing.

My instruments are regularly displayed at international exhibitions like Musicora (International Paris music festival), the 'Stringed instrument fair' in Tokyo, Japan or the Montreal guitar show in Quebec.