With this interesting article and interview to Mr. González, President of González Reeds, we open our first post of 2018, wishing you enjoy it and that you also learn a reading it.
It all started in 1963 when the symphonic orchestra of the National University of Cuyo brought to Mendoza numerous musicians from Argentina and abroad.
Along with those young artists came the oboe player Juan José Gonzalez. Ever since he arrived in Mendoza, Juan José Gonzalez became interested in studying the qualities of the cane that grew wild in the flat lands, at the foot of the Andes Mountains. He could have never imagined that years later, thanks to those tests, that cane would become worldwide famous.
In 1983 Juan José, together with his son Juan Pablo, founded a company with the intention of growing Arundo Donax and selling it to different foreign reed makers. That is how Argendonax SRL is created, first being a supplier of raw material, until 1995 when the first reeds are launched to the market under the brand “Zonda”. These were the perfect result of many years of research and technological development. The goal was to manufacture the best reeds in the world.
In the year 2000 the Gonzalez FOF (For our Friends) Clarinet reeds were born, first presented at the New Orleans ClarinetFest, thus starting their brand. This brand that has become a synonym of prestige and quality.
In the year 2002 Eduardo Davolos, Juan Pablo’s cousin, joined the society enriching the company with his knowledge on marketing techniques and institutional identity design.
Over the years, the company acquired new machinery achieving a daily production of 12,000 reeds (between clarinet and saxophones). This equipment has helped to increase not only the quantity but also the quality of our products to the highest level.
Currently the brand González is a leader among manufacturers of canes in over 30 countries worldwide.
Argendonax S.A. owned by the González - Davolos family, currently has four plantations of Arundo Donax with a total cultivated area of 104 acres. These are supervised since 2006 by the Agronomist Pablo Nacaratto, who has set new standards in high production of organic farming of Arundo Donax.
The cultivation system is in furrows, separated by alleys from 20 to 30 feet wide, depending on the plantation’s age. The irrigation system is the California drip type, taking the water from wells located 590 to 650 feet deep.
Only organic fertilizers are used in their plantations (worm humus or goat manure). They do not use artificial pesticides or agrochemicals. Mendoza’s sun and soil do the rest, these are essential in order to obtain this excellent raw material with its special sound and unique yellow color.
The harvest takes place in winter when the cane is the driest and the sap has settled to the bottom of the plant. The canes are harvested manually with pruning shears and are cut only after the second lifecycle. Only the best pieces are selected based on the plant’s age and diameter.
Subsequently the leaves are removed. The canes are finally laid out in the sun during 30 days, one by one being rotated manually in order to make sure that the drying is complete and uniform.
After 30 days, the manufacturing process of clarinet and saxophone reeds starts and before they are packed, each reed is subject to an equal force in an electronic machine, which measures the resistance to bending of reeds resulting in its hardness. González strengths are divided by quarters, so that once the musician finds the right strength, they can play 10 out of 10 reeds in each box without feeling any difference between them. Like this, the strength system is more accurate.
FOF (For Our Friends) González Reeds for Bb clarinet
For our Friends (FOF) was meant for those clarinetists that need a reed with a darker sound. They are made following an “american” cut. These reeds have thicker wood in the heart; therefore, they require longer times in order to become stable.
The material is stored to age for at least 4 years before its manufacture. Because of its deeply carved shoulders, the reed is completely released in the bass sounds, where it vibrates like no other. While a heart with higher density allows to attack the high notes with ease and refinement.
Regular Cut (SC) González Reeds for Bb clarinet
These reeds have a classic, French style filing. These reeds are made on a segment of 3.2mm. Rectified to 2.8 mm. this leaves the scraping in the most vibrant area of the reed and produces a very bright sound. It maintains the tuning despite it being an extremely flexible and spontaneous reed.
Classic González Reeds for Bb clarinet
These reeds are designed so that the musician can quickly adapt to them. They are made following a cut that has been used by most manufacturers, but adding the quality selection of González Reeds. They have typical filed of French reeds
GD clarinet González Reeds for Bb clarinet
These reeds are made from a cane with a classic French Cut. They are made with a thicker blank and a larger diameter material than the standard clarinet reeds. This material is normally used in the manufacture of Alto saxophone reeds. This gives a much deeper sound. They are the first González reeds with a Filed Cut. The reed has a longer scraping area and more wood in the heel, therefore it is a more vibrant and lasting reed.
German Cut González Reeds for Bb clarinet
The González German Cut reeds have been specially designed to suit the German style mouthpieces. These reeds are made on a segment of 3.4mm. Rectified to 3.0 mm. this leaves the scraping in the most vibrant area of the reed and produces a very bright sound. Its shallow shoulders have a closed half moon shape. This helps to maintain the tuning despite it being an extremely flexible and spontaneous reed.
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