The third day of panic phone calls from musicians : I regret to inform all gut-string players that our stock of Aquila gut strings is over. We have been trying to get gut strings from
other string-makers since three months but, not surprisingly, with the problems we are facing these string makers cannot supply strings to the makers, at least, not in a timely manner : they might eventually be able to sell one or two gut strings to the players, but not to the distributors asking for dozens or hundreds of strings at once.
The reason of the crisis are the EU laws causing severe shortage of raw gut - raw gut is outlawed on the territory of the EU due to BSE fears.
Miraculously, ministers say it is OK to produce sausages and consume them but it is not OK to produce musical strings even if they are not food.
Please, stay connected for there will be an online petition. As soon as we know it has been published we shall announce its URL through our social networks.
There are several laws causing the crisis. One of these laws can be found here:
in English: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ%3AL%3A2004%3A162%3A0062%3A0064%3AEN%3APDF
in Italian: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ%3AL%3A2004%3A162%3A0062%3A0064%3AIT%3APDF
in French: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ%3AL%3A2004%3A162%3A0062%3A0064%3AFR%3APDF
The law in every other EU language can be found at eur-lex.europe.eu
The current crisis should concern everyone, not only the string players using natural gut strings.
It is a problem for millions of audience, all early music festivals, all CD labels whose output focuses on Early Music, all makers of historical instruments, all educational institutions were gut-strung instruments are being taught. The crisis may cost thousands of jobs and the loss of the tradition - as well as everything connected with it. The loss may potentially have irreversible disastrous consequences.
Stay in touch and sign the petition even if you are not a musician.
As it is stated above, on the 15th of November the major producer of musical gut strings - Aquila Corde Armoniche Srl - stopped the production of gut strings. What does it mean for the other string-makers still in production?
Aquila was the only EU-based company capable to meet the global demand for baroque strings. With Aquila not producing gut strings anymore, the handful of tiny producers are likely to go bankrupt due to the flood of panic-orders and their inability to meet the demand and due to the impossibility to obtain the raw gut of high quality from outside of the EU.
Aquila will definitely survive the crisis thanks to their production of 15mln plastic strings for plucked instruments such as ukulele and guitars, but the tiny string-makers who produces only gut-strings may last only as long as their remaining stock of raw material lasts. The days are counted.
There is no gut on the territory of the EU other than that for the food industry. The two larger gut-string makers in the US are unlikely to meet the global demand if the production in the EU is not restored within a few weeks.
What does Early Music sound like?
These movies involved hundreds of staff and made millions of people happy. This is Early Music. This is what cannot exist without the gut-strings and not just gut-strings. These strings must be made exactly in the same manner as they were made at the time of Louis XIV.
The current EU legislation effectively kills this. Aquila Corde has been battling with this issue both in Rome and Brussels since 2006 trying to involve other string makers and important musicians but the ministers in charge remained deaf.
Without your input the crisis cannot be reversed.
Stay in touch, spread the word, sign the petition. The petition will be announced through the social networks. At this moment we are not informed about it's URL.
The Hague, 19th November 2011.