Desiree Ferrero recently graduated from the Summit School of Guitar, so when she injured her knee last winter during school, she got an interesting idea.
“I thought, ‘I’m at a school learning to build instruments and it’s a woodworking shop, so why not make a cane and why not make it a musical one.’”
And so the StrumCane was born. A fully functional cane that doubles as a three-stringed instrument.
Ferrero has also crafted an acoustic guitar using the wood and ivories from her grandparents 1920s piano, among other finely detailed stringed instruments.
Although she’s only 24 years old, Ferrero has been playing the guitar for 17 years, her first one a gift for her eighth birthday.
Ferrero grew up in Harrison Hot Springs and after graduating high school she toyed with the idea of going back to school, but nothing jumped out at her. When she heard about the Summit School of Guitar in Qualicum Bay she got excited.
“Since I was little I’ve liked music and liked writing it and liked playing it. So I thought why not be able to go and build my own guitars.”
Ferrero was in her element at the school, which she said far exceeded her expectations.
Residents may have seen Ferrero out and about strumming her guitar in the summer at local markets and fairs.
She has a distinct style she calls “slap harmonics” where she plays her guitar “like a piano” with both fingers on the fret board at the same time.
Her fingers shoot up and down the guitar with a graceful ease while she drums the instrument making crisp, rhythmic, music.
Ferrero has mapped out a 10 year plan which includes putting the finishing touches on a CD, and opening up a shop to produce her authentic guitars.
A StrumCane is currently for sale at the Salish Sea Market in Bowser and Ferrero can be contacted through her facebook page for custom orders. www.facebook.com/StrumCane.
Catch Ferrero performing at the McMillan Arts Centre’s MACoustic Folk Club Nov. 16.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. with open stage acts and Ferrero will be the feature act following the intermission. Tickets are $5 at the door.