Accordions France Bertrand Gaillard

About Bertrand Gaillard

"In 1978, I discovered the diatonic accordion and traditional music. Back then, I was a cabinet-maker by profession. As my interest in the musical instrument grew, so did the awareness of the need for better quality accordions in France. The idea of designing and making my own accordion started to take hold of me. Thereafter, I took the plunge in the Spring of 1980 and I created my very first model. Several musician friends took a real interest in my work thereby paving the way for two other prototypes the following year.

After having exhibited these instruments at the Saint-Chartier International Meeting (Rencontres de Luthiers de Saint-Chartier), I decided to dedicate my professional life to accordion making.

Ever since, my mission has been to create high quality accordions and to limit production by making my instruments within the framework of a craftsmen’s workshop. Afterwards, I made the sound decision to use local types of wood rather than imported tropical ones. My research and experience led me to the use of walnut as a main source of wood which gives the finest quality.

I am thoroughly involved in making the individual parts (boxes, keyboards, blocks,etc.), assembling the entire instrument and in the final decorating and varnishing ; however I do collaborate with other craftsmen in certain specialised fields. Experts such as Claudio Binci (hand-made reed maker) and Stephanie Simon (musical tuning) both participate in the excellence of the final product.

Thanks to constant research, my instruments have become more refined in the areas of tone and acoustic projection of sound. The same applies to playability and handling. The encounter with certain artists has been instrumental to the evolution of my craft : Joe Burke, Tony Mac Mahon, Jackie Daly, Joe Derrane, Benny Mc Carthy, and in France, Stephane Milleret and Norbert Pignol, just to name a few.

I work essentially with musicians who are extremely demanding in terms of the quality, yet are thoroughly aware of the amount of time involved. My accordions are designed for playing over a span of several decades. Each and every model is made with the finest components (reeds, mechanisms, bellows,etc) and I take special care not to overcharge the instruments ; in other words, I aim at letting them “breath” so as to produce the best dynamics and the richest expressiveness on the entire range of the keyboard. My production is entirely order-based and, therefore, I have no instrument available on stock. The delivery time is directly proportional to the amount of work involved for each individual order. These orders arrive not only from France, but also from other European countries and even farther away (USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, ...). The musicians who call upon me come from a variety of musical horizons. This has led me to custom made creations where keyboard layout and tuning are especially carried out for each client.

I have been a diatonic accordion designer since 1980. My craftsmanship has always been a passion, and I have always remained faithful to my initial goal : to continually perfect my work thereby producing instruments that will allow the fullest expression of emotions for musicians".

Bertrand Gaillard

  • Production in an ordinary craft workshop

Bertrand Gaillard accordions

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