Guitar  x 2

Harris Becker and Pasquale Bianculli




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CLICK HERE or full-text versions of our reviews and press clippings  


C  O  M  M  E  N  T  S   F R O M   O U R   F A N S

"I am very glad that your concert was a success. It deserved it largely, for we loved your cd.
Good luck with everything and all the best"

Pierre Vachon, program director for Chaine Culturelle -

"Always glad to play good recordings of good music. Keep up the fine work"

Fred Child, Music Director/Director of Cultural Programming WNYC

"The beauty and magic of your playing soothes and elevates. Seeing and hearing your finished product has inspired me to get moving on my poetry project..."

Eric Hafker, Floral Park, NY

I was…listening to New Sounds on NPR, I heard the name "Harris Becker" which got my attention. Then there was this great guitar music and afterwards the guy said it was from your new album Catgut Flambo. So you are on the airwaves! Congrats!                           

Karen Davis,  New York, NY

"If I was going to the moon, I would take this CD with me!

Pat Caruso St. James, NY

"Maybe it should be a requirement for all drivers to have a copy of your CD in their car. It certainly would combat road rage!"                                                                                                          Joe Cassano , Poconos, PA


I've become somewhat of an expert on your CD, listening to it so much. I compared it to the Bream/Williams ("Together") CD and it compares wonderfully! In fact, I like your tempo (of the Sor) better and it's every bit as beautiful and polished. (I walk around with a smile all day, thinking about it). You should be feeling great, with an accomplishment like this! The way you guys play the Latin music makes me wonder if you don't both have some South American blood in your veins, somehow. It really swings and the purity of the notes is amazing     Linda Kessler Weston, CT

Couldn't sleep, got up at 5:30. Got my coffee and the paper. Put on your CD. It was magical, just perfect! I love the music. I just sat there and listened to the whole thing. I certainly think there's a market out there for this kind of music, and I'm hoping you'll be successful with this. And if you really want to be successful, get rid of those glasses!    Bill Heneghan, M.D. New York, NY

Bravissimo! Your CD finally arrived and is playing non-stop at 88 rue de la Federation. It sounds great! The classical pieces are very clean and the Brazilian pieces are a discovery for me….It all sounds great and I am happy you have such a creation to show for the work you have done. It really is something to be proud of. Your CD has also helped me walk a bit taller around here. The boys seem to be deeply impressed that their father's name appears on the liner notes of the CD! Tom Heneghan, Paris, France

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"The origin of the use of catgut for the strings of violins and kindred instruments has, from time to time, been explained in various ways.

The most interesting, and probably the most authoritative explanation seems to be the one known among violin makers in Italy for centuries, but little known outside the country. The story is related by Joseph Primavera, who gathered his material in the little town of Salle, Pescara, Italy, a town that has had for almost six centuries the making of catgut strings as its chief industry, and from which some of the finest strings in the musical world have come.

It all goes back to around 1300 AD, it seems, when Salle was already famous for its saddles. Not the least important feature of these leather products was the fact that a thread made from the intestines of a mountain sheep was used in sewing them. This thread was found to be far stronger than that made from more domesticated and better cared for sheep of the valleys.

Tradition at Salle says that at the dawn of the fourteenth century one Erasmo was employed in the chief industry of the town, the making of saddles. As this man was drying some sheep intestines in order to make his thread, some were carried away by the wind, and became lodged in a thorn bush.

Erasmo noticed that sweet musical sounds were emitted as the material was vibrated by the wind blowing through the bush. Being an observant man, and an ingenious one, the thought came to him that the threads used in sewing saddles might also be used as strings in the primitive instruments that were ancestors of the violin. Thus the business of making violins strings from "catgut" (more will be said later regarding the origin of the word itself) began, and so important did the industry become to the small town that eventually Erasmo was sainted, and St. Erasmo is not only the patron saint of the town, but also the profession of string making.

When asked regarding their strings, the people of Salle, so the tradition states, said that they were made of the intestines of cats, "catgut". There was good reason for this. The cat was viewed with superstition in Italy, and the slaying of a cat was supposed to be followed by a period of bad luck. The fiddle string makers of Salle reasoned that few indeed would attempt to copy their trade, if it involved slaying cats.

Mr. Primavera, by searching church records, found that from the beginning of the industry in the time of St. Erasmo, until about 1700, four centuries, the families of Berti, Dorazio, Mari, and Ruffini were famous for making violin strings. These families furnished the strings for products of Stradivarius and other master makers of violins during this period. About 1640 Mari Brothers became the leaders in the manufacture of "catgut" strings. This tradition is followed today by the same family. E. & O. Mari, Inc., located in Newburgh, New York, USA carries on the tradition. Many of their products are marketed under the world famous name "La Bella". These music strings are recognized as the finest the world over."


This word FLAMBO, started out as a sound, the way much of music is conceived before composers decide to try and mess things up by organizing them into some kind of structure. As we were getting close to realizing this CD project, Harris and I sat around and experimented with various ideas for names. It was reminiscent of when we were teenagers, and trying to find a name for our bands.Harris came up with Flambo, and we laughed, but I liked the sound of it.

I was then given a CD of a soca band from Trinidad, and the name of one song was Flambo. It literally is a torch, as in the French word, flambeau. But in Trinidad, it is more like a Molotov cocktail, a bottle filled with gasoline with a lighted piece of cloth in the top.It is used on the ground to light a path.So, if you really need a definition, there it is.... lighting a path with explosive tendencies.