How did you come up with the idea of ​​carbon protection for accordionists?

[Ghenadie]I think accordionists mainly focus on what kind of instrument we want to have. And less in what type of protection we would like for our instrument…

[Maider] In fact the idea was quite accidental: I worked for a company as an engineer, for scientific research focused on neutrons (it turns out that carbon coatings are used for this). One day, we received a piece that was like my cello. Also, my cello case was too heavy to walk long distances… I also wanted it to be handcrafted and sustainable.

That month I was playing at a wedding with two accordionists, who knew about my idea and told me to do something for the accordion. Accessories were missing.

For string instruments like guitars, for example, you have a lot of case accessories available, they probably take better care of their instruments. While we think more about what is inside the instrument and how to clean it.

Also for travelling, it is necessary not to carry too much weight on the shoulders. – Ghenadie

How have you combined your passion for music with engineering?

[Maider] I studied at the Irun Conservatory, which is a small town on the border with France. I had to stop because I started studying engineering. I could not combine the two things: I had classes in the morning and in the afternoon… it was not possible to be in two places at the same time. Then, I went to Italy to work. Now I live in Bilbao and there I go to music school. I took up my cello classes again and I’m in the orchestra Behotsik. I also participate in two trios and I’m learning to sing because it’s like a dream… so I always stick to music, I can’t give it up.

How did you come up with the name LumaSuite?

[Maider] I live in the Basque Country, so I wanted to try to translate or do something related to this in the brand. That is why the name is composed of luma, which means feather in Basque (lightness, freedom) and suite, for the Bach suites. It is also a luxurious hotel room, where the instrument will feel at ease.

At first, I wanted to call the company Chroma, because in Italian it is the sixteenth note and also the chromatic circle of fifths. With such bad luck that it turned out to be the name of a big Pharma, so I had to change it. They wrote me a letter. So I had to consult with an advisor and she told me to try a combination of two words. I changed to Arima Suite because arima means soul in Basque, but then the name seemed Japanese to me, so I changed it. This is the full story of why the brand is Lumasuite.

What is the biggest impact of having a carbon case, compared to a normal bag?

[Maider] The first improvement is the high durability and the low wear, if you have a normal life. It is also better for changes in temperature and humidity, and of course the lightness.

[Ghenadie] Then it is a one-time investment for your life.

[Maider] Yes, the downside is that it is more expensive.

[Ghenadie] No, but it makes sense. Let’s think that you will have a normal case for 5 or 10 years, so if you buy 5 cases in your life, around 200 300 euros, it is actually more expensive. As you say, by the way you do it, you can change its style, repaint it, or if you have a different accordion, you can accommodate it.

What is the manufacturing process of a case?

[Maider] In the tab About Us we have many photos of the process. There you can see that the main equipment you need is a mold and a vacuum pump. The mold can be made of metal, wood or fiberglass. You pre-design it and then manually add all the layers of fiber and reinforcements.

Afterwards, you cover everything and apply vacuum, to compact the layers and have the least possible weight. Finally, you assemble the case and manufacture the textile parts. They will be different if you have a very large accordion, or a very small one. Also, we can make custom cushions that you can expand and stick where you need to, to adapt the case to two accordions.

[Ghenadie] So it is a solution to fit the case for perhaps a smaller accordion.

[Maider] Yes, with customizable cushions inside, so that the instrument remains stable and does not jump. For example, I have made more cushions for accordion players who told me they needed more so it’s not a problem. Also pockets, in case you want to store something and not touch the accordion. The process is also shown on the YouTube channel. We have made a short video so you can see the whole process.

Can the accordion be checked in on the plane?

[Maider] I don’t recommend losing sight of your accordion on the plane, not only because of the instrument and its case itself, but also because of the people who handle them. You cannot control them. So it is better to carry it with you in two parts inside, or under your seat. Other violin case manufacturers say the same thing, they will never recommend keeping the violin away from you on the plane.

Also due to the temperature, humidity and other luggage that is stored with your case. It is unfeasible to control so many variables. And of course, your life depends on it.

[Ghenadie] And not to mention that they can lose a part or your instrument completely. One thing, the belt, how does it work? Do you tie it up like a backpack?

[Maider] No, the case will have two more rings at the bottom so you can hold it there, or not, if you want. It is used for walking longer distances. For example, we did the test with the French accordionist Alexandre Prusse. He was delighted to be able to walk with his accordion together with the singer, who was wearing only the microphone. Accordionists from the Netherlands have also used it to hold the case more tightly on the bike, and cushion the movement in turns.

Regarding designs, when I worked in Italy I was in Genoa but I knew people from Milan, like the designer Simone Fanciullacci. When I returned to Spain, I contacted him to make the first mold designs. He was specialized in furniture. So, we developed the idea based on designer furniture: when you buy a very special piece of furniture, you place it at home and everyone who is going to enter your house will admire it. Well, with the case and the instrument, the same.

The key is that a case is not a flight case. For example, double basses are transported in flight cases because they do not fit inside the plane. But the flight case is not to be carried on your back. The idea of ​​Lumasuite is to have your instrument with you, to make it a life partner. – Maider.

My wishes to the accordionists

[Maider] I wish there were more famous female accordionists. On the other hand, I am impressed (and I am very happy) when a musician is very clear that he/she needs to protect the instrument well. Not only have a good instrument, but also good protection.

There are many accordions that are much more expensive than a violin. On the other hand, violinists have excellent cases, but accordionists do not. It’s weird for me.

[Ghenadie] I’m thinking about that. When something goes wrong, or something breaks on the instrument, unless you have someone to fix it on the spot nearby… you have to drive or fly to Castelfidardo.

[Maider] But there are also accordion luthiers…

[Ghenadie] In almost every major city there are string instrument luthiers, but the same is not the case with the accordion. Maybe you have an official partner around here, someone who has done some workshops or courses in Castelfidardo. It is not very common.

Having better protection for the instrument really ensures that the instrument would last longer. It wouldn’t break that easily, it wouldn’t need maintenance or repairs as often. So, speaking of sustainability and the environment, instead of flying once a year, or going by car once a year, maybe I would go once every 2-3 years. I’m just an accordionist, but if hundreds start flying there once a year…

A final note

Since you have read this far, I will tell you a spontaneous revelation that came to me during the interview. Speaking of which music haunts us. A year ago, waiting for the subway on the shoulder with the cello case, an older woman approached me. She told me, in a hoarse voice, that I would never be alone because I would have my instrument. And just as it came, it left.

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