At the numerous artisan fairs people of all ages gather around one of the "music" stalls where different folk instruments are on display and ready to be tested. Those have been made by Gunārs Igaunis and Ilmārs Dreļs from the Gaigalava district of Rēzekne county. They have also set up their own company "Baltharmonia”, specialising in the production and repair of musical instruments.
Gunārs has learned the skills of musical tools manufacturing all by himself. He has also created something entirely new – a music constructor enabling even very small children to learn how to play music in a quick and engaging manner.
All the notes are painted in different colours, making it easier for the little musicians to distinguish them, and each key is positioned on a wooden block. Through arranging the keys according to one’s own liking the process of composing turns into an exciting game, where the child has only one rule to observe – the melody must end with the same note which it began with. The constructor is supplemented with a little song book with colourful note patterns of some of the most popular melodies.
The two craftsmen make lots other instruments too, from flutes to zithers and drums.
Their instruments are both of high acoustic and esthetic qualities – for example, black ceramic drum covered in deer skin look ancient and at the same time elegant. Apart from making new instruments, another of Gunārs’s hobby is collecting the old ones.
The oldest sample in his collection is an accordeon which is already way over 100 years old.