How To Build an Oud

How To Build An Oud

Take strips of fine wood
Pass on the indigenous Mediterranean woods
They are not fine enough
Go west and find guitar woods
The curly maples
The Brazilian rosewood
An venerable teacher next to the desert
Is warehousing wood away
He will sell it to you
If you convince him you have the eastern
Sensibility
To translate his western guitar woods
Into sound

Heat up the wood and stretch strips over a large gourd

Place inside the sound space
The sound of hooves from a distance
The sand flying in your face
The crack of a tree before it falls into water
The buzz of insects at night

Let the wood breathe enough
Before you cover the sound holes
With filigreed rosettes

Or put nothing over the sound holes
And with your ear

Listen to the belly of your instrument
For its beating

Heart