This website is focused on my guitar making. If you would like to have a look at some of the other instruments that I make, including kora and tsugaru shamisen, please go to: musicforestinstruments.wordpress.com

I have been making musical instruments seriously for a good 20 or 25 years now. For quite a while I was making koras and tsugaru shamisen and now I’ve included flamenco and classical guitar into the mix.

I first fell in love with the Spanish guitar from a Julian Bream album that my mom had when I was a kid. I’m pretty sure that I completely wore that album out. From there my musical journeys were pretty wide ranging with composing and performing. It was in connection to my compositions that I first started making my own instruments. At first it was to find unique acoustic sounds and continued on to my guitar making which today is my primary musical focus.

So… what follows is my general bio  in 3rd person…

Until recent times Catherine was living a somewhat nomadic existence mostly in the west of Canada.

10518605_10204729057855496_3912654392340224295_oShe is presently based in a small mountain village in the north of Thailand where she has set up a musical instrument making and composing studio.

Through ดนตรีป่า Music Forest & The Sun and the Wind Project, her work is devoted to creating a deep & deepening connection with the wild natural world. A reawakening. Catherine is a composer, vocalist, musician, instrument maker, visual & material artist.

A major focus in Catherine’s life in recent years has been solo long distance travel on horseback. In the years of 2011-13 she traveled, solo, more than 2500 km through the southern plains of Saskatchewan and Alberta in what became an effort to link through slow travel some of the last remnants of the Canadian native prairie grasslands.  In September 2012, Catherine was honoured with full membership in The Long Riders’ Guild, the international association of equestrian explorers.walking

Catherine has had a long involvement, since childhood, in traditional Irish music both as an instrumentalist and vocalist. She has taken part in Irish language and singing (séan-nos) workshops at Oideas Gael in Co. Donegal in the northwest of Ireland as well as workshops and studies in Canada.

This interest in Irish music over the years has led her to many different places musically, often quite radically different from the roots of that tradition. Over more than twenty-five years she was involved in composition and performance with a number of contemporary dance creators, primarily in Canada. To date she has created more than twenty five musical and sound pieces for dance theatre.

In the dance world, Catherine has worked with Kate Alton, P. Megan Andrews, Peggy Baker, Louise Bédard, Serge Bennathan, Sylvie Bouchard, Tanya Crowder, Susanna Hood, Sasha Ivanochko, Karen Kaeja, Rachel Kennedy, Susan Lee, Elena Mamais, Naoko Murakoshi, Julia Sasso, Roger Sinha, Heidi Strauss, Darryl Tracy and Eryn Dace Trudell.

Her work has been seen and heard in a number of diverse modes throughout Canada, in Thailand, Ireland and the USA. While studying Irish, Catherine had some wonderful performance opportunities in Donegal, Ireland as well as of course, witnessing and learning from some incredible artists and their music. In the theatre/film/TV realm she has recorded and composed music for Armand Garnet Ruffo’s film, A Windigo Tale, Vision TV, Debaghimajig Theatre and Native Earth Productions.

ดนตรีป่า Music Forest is the current ‘umbrella’ for Catherine’s work. Rooted in finding an ever deepening connection to wild nature, as her work has been and always will be. ดนตรีป่า Music Forest represents Catherine’s instrument making, songwriting and composing.

The Sun and The Wind project revolves around Catherine’s long distance solo horse travels. It is extensive in scope and deals with many aspects of our human place on the wild world. Please go to The Sun and the Wind for more information.

In the world of making stuff, Catherine has been making moccassins and other related things since her youth. The first bit she ever sewed was at her grandmother’s side at the age of 8 where she learned to darn socks. She makes most of the instruments that she plays. The first instrument that she made was at the age of 8 by her grandfather’s side (after begging for his help for a week) making a sweet little harp.
Catherine worked for many years in the Toronto film world in the costume, props and set departments of numerous productions.
These days, a lot of her stuff creating revolves around making instruments. Many instruments that have hide sounding surfaces, Cora, Banjo, Igil and Tsugaru Shamisen. These days  her instrument making focus is on Flamenco and Classical Guitar.
She also made much of the tack and clothing for her long rides.

It goes without saying that Catherine is an avid outdoors enthusiast, she loves to wander the wild hills and grassy plains, swim in the clear waters and walk on the frozen lakes of this beautiful wonderful earth as often as she can.
She has practised Kendo since the early ’80s and Iaido since the late 90s.