The Gateway Gurdy Origin Story

Campbell and Murphy of The Gateway Gurdy project….

Introduction to the concept…..

The Gateway Gurdy is a much needed entry-level instrument to fill the existing void in the hurdy gurdy world. The aim was to create an affordable instrument that still retained the sound and ergonomic playability of high end instruments, and to do this we looked at the concept from a different angle so we could design from a wholly unique perspective.

Making anything less expensive involves a process. We realised that to succeed we would need to make changes to as many of the following areas as possible.

• 1. Build time

• 2. Cost of materials

• 3. Sourcing alternative materials

• 4. Reducing the amount of materials used

• 5. Looking at different ways of making it work

In the end, we did all of these and the Gateway Gurdy has many features which set it aside from other instruments, but there were a few key breakthroughs which make it truly unique. To find out more about these please visit our Kickstarter campaign.

Neil Campbell playing the Gateway Gurdy | Hurdy Gurdy

Introducing Campbell….

“Hi, Neil here…

I’ve always been interested in the Hurdy Gurdy and it took me a long time and lots of sideways thinking, but eventually, I managed to get one, then two, then three, then four, then five, then six…

I learned a lot from each instrument but the quest for an accessible model always eluded me. I became hyper-focused on the problem and I read, studied, watched, and listened to everything I could and then I had an epiphany. If I wanted to come up with a new instrument, I needed a new way to do it… In creating the Gateway Gurdy, we took the traditional Gurdy out of the box, then we made a fort out of the box and eventually forgot there was a box at all. The key to the Gateway Gurdy lies in the Patent-Pending Campbell Keychest. You can find a detailed breakdown on our Kickstarter page. When I am not driving my partner cranky with hurdy gurdies, I can usually be found tinkering with one of the other 50 or so instruments I collect. In my grown-up job I am a writer. My prose can be found all over the place, from blogs to marketing copy, from Kickstarter to Independent Cinema, and even in the odd book on Amazon. “

Murphy at work in the Gateway Gurdy workshop

Introducing Murphy…..

” I’m Ed, the ‘other half’ of the Gateway Gurdy project.

It was over a year and a half ago that I was dropping another repaired instrument back to Neil when he introduced the idea of us developing an affordable, well made, and decent sounding hurdy gurdy model.. it doesn’t exist, except for the wonderful Nerdy Gurdy. Have to admit I was reticent to begin with… look at all those strings, look how complex these instruments are, how the hell are these bodies braced? What’s that funny buzzing bridge? A tromp? What??! But at the time I’d not been building guitars for a while, except helping my friend (the illustrious Jerome Duffell Guitars), when his workload was high. I also had a part time job as technician in a high end guitar and mandolin shop in Brighton, repairing and setting up American/Canadian made boutique instruments (by the likes of Ervin Somogyi, Jeff Traugott, David Wren, Sergei de Jonge, Linda Manzer, John Slobod, Michihiro Matsuyama, and many others). Before this, in 2001 I studied under Sergei de Jonge in Canada, then went on to do a 2year HND course in musical instrument technology at London Guildhall Uni. The course was, ok.. but I realised I learnt more in 5 weeks under Sergei de Jonge. It did however teach me general principles of acoustics and added to my knowledge of tonewoods. But I digress… sorry! Neil’s idea felt like a project that would at least be interesting.. so I thought I’d see how things developed. And here we are finally, at launch day!! So we’ve got so far, but this isn’t the end… I’m going to develop the internal bracing, update some of the bridges, tweak this, tweak that..I’m loving it! I’d like this to keep going and going.”