On October 10th 2015 I left Istanbul on my way to Hong Kong, where the firm that distributes my guitars, Tom Lee Music, had organized a presentation for my nephew Enrique and me, which was scheduled for October 12th.
Eric Yim picked us up in the hotel and took us to have lunch with Jane Wong. In the afternoon we went to the hall where the presentation was going to take place. We were there to check the sound, and also we were interviewed by Sean Chan for the Re:spect magazine.
The room had 90 chairs, and it was a great joy to see that it was completely full. The event was really well organized and we were warmly welcomed by the audience. I talked about the Ramírez family, guitar constructors, and about our models; and Enrique demonstrated how to elaborate a handmade mosaic, he did it with the help of a video we have in Youtube and that we did for this kind of events, as it is a really complex process that can only be carried out entirely in the workshop and lasts several days. Enrique took already-made samples of the different stages to give more light to the process. We like to do this demonstration because nowadays only a few guitar makers make their mosaics by hand. Obviously, it is much more economic to make them in factories, but in our opinion it is a pity that this craft technique is lost and although it does not affect the sound, it is part of our traditional work. It is a way to show to those that are interested that we are still an artisan workshop and that we preserve the knowledge of our ancestors.
We also enjoyed the brief and nice concert that Mr. Mok gave us with our guitars during the event. There was nothing missing and when it finished, we could have the opportunity that the attendants reached us to ask and to show us Ramírez guitars that they fondly hold and they told us their stories about our guitars.
I had visited Hong Kong twice before. The first time I travelled with my mother, taking advantage of the fact that we had gone to Philippines to visit our family there. My mother worked in Hong Kong when she was young. There, she was housed in the iconic Península Hotel for a year, and she had really good memories of that stay; that is why it has a special meaning for me and I always like going there. I kept the memory from my first visit of what I called ‘the human tide’. It was so dense that when I left the hotel I had to wait until the flow of the human tide was in the direction I wanted to take, and then I would join in and melted with the walkers. In my two subsequent journeys I didn’t have the same experience, although it is true that there are still lots and lots of people in Hong Kong. I like this land.