“Musicwood,” a documentary film directed by Maxine Trump, follows the journey for the salvation of one of music’s dearest instruments: the acoustic guitar. At the heart of the story are world- famous guitar makers Chris Martin, Bob Taylor and Dave Berryman of Gibson. The trio travels to Southeast Alaska with the intention of negotiating with a Native American logging company, in order to change logging customs and hopefully preserve the tree used to make some of the world’s most famous guitars, Sitka Spruce. The film explores the impact of the history between white settlers and Native Americans, and how a clash of cultures has created a significant effect upon the present and ultimately the future of this instrument. With music as its guiding force, “Musicwood,” which also includes acoustic performances by The Antlers and Yo La Tengo, reveals a complex and intriguing take on the preservation of natural resources.
A version of this article appeared on page 6 of January 17, 2013’s print edition of the Nexus.