Interview with Laurie
Radio New Zealand interview
Feature Documentary "Song of the Kauri"
When I was given the opportunity to cut down a kauri tree for my soundboards it sparked a lot of interest and over some years a documentary was produced that chronicles the journey from tree to finished instrument. It has become an award winning documentary and I invite you to download or purchase a copy. It is a unique view into the world of my guitars and the kauri trees of New Zealand.
In the words of the producer... "I have been friends with Laurie Williams for many years and have had the pleasure of touring the world with one of his kauri guitars. One day we were chatting and he mentioned that a Northland forester named Steve Lane has spoken to him about a kauri tree on a forest block called Waingarara owned by Karamea Davis. Karamea had a few felling permits but had long ago stopped taking any timber. The Williams guitar that I owned came from a tree felled on Waingarara over 80 years ago and Steve wondered whether the kauri grown there had some special characteristics that made the guitars sound so good. Laurie and Steve went to visit Karamea to discuss the possibility of activating the permit to fell a kauri tree. Laurie had brought a few instruments and when Karamea saw them he said “I want my trees to sing”. He believed that if Laurie made instruments from his kauri that would travel the world, it would be the strongest environmental message he could hope for. We wondered, could this forest block produce the perfect guitar timber? What was the chance that 80 years later the kauri here could still possess that magic tone?"
Mathurin Molgat (Producer)