Jonathan Reus was interviewed by Bela Blog about hacking the 5-string banjo.
“American folk instruments and music have transformed historically through convoluted evolutionary paths; passing via different geographic enclaves and waypoints, heterogeneous mixtures of cultural attitudes towards music and playing. The 5-string banjo is an interesting example of this. It’s an instrument that’s the result of a confluence of cultures and is representative of a complex history with extremes of deep inequalities based on race and class at one end, and the ambitions of elites and industrialists at the other. It’s one of the few musical instruments that I can really stamp as representative of American identity. Next to the banjo, what else? Maybe the electric guitar? The turntable?”
Read the full interview here