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My workshop


From the beginning of my career as an instrument maker, my purpose has been to create high quality accordions. I make my instruments within the framework of a craftsmen’s workshop and therefore, production is limited. I choose to use local types of wood rather than imported ones. My research and experience led me to favour walnut as the main source of wood, for it gives the finest results.

I carry out most of the work-designing the instruments, making the boxes, keyboards, blocks, etc. by myself and personnally assemble, decorate and varnish all my accordions. In addition, I work in close collaboration with highly skilled craftsmen in some specialised fields (e.g. reeds, bellows or mechanical components). Musical tuning specialist Stéphanie Simon puts the finishing touch to this long and elaborate crafting process.

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. My meeting with some artists has been instrumental in the evolution of my craft: Joe Burke, Tony Mac Mahon, Jackie Daly, Joe Derrane, Benny Mc Carthy, and in France, Stéphane Milleret and Norbert Pignol, to only name a few.

I work essentially for musicians who are extremely demanding in terms of quality, yet thoroughly aware of the amount of time involved. My accordions are designed to be played 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 “breathe” 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. My customers are based not only in France, but also in other European countries and even farther away (USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Russia, etc.). The musicians who call upon me come from a variety of musical horizons. This has led me to custom made creations where keyboard and bass layout and tuning are tailored to each client's needs.

I have been a diatonic accordion designer since 1980. My craftsmanship has always been a passion, and I have remained faithful to my initial goal: to continually perfect my work and produce instruments that will allow musicians to express their emotions to the fullest.

Bertrand Gaillard

Please beware of rumours. I have no intention to retire anytime soon, and I will only do so when my successor is fully trained. The musicians will of course be kept informed in due course.

Photos : Laura Perera San Martin             

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walnut boule wood, felt, fabric, leather hand tools wood bits and drlls planing a wood part keyboard in the process of being made inside of a keyboard bellows frames laying an inlaid thread miter cuts set of handmade reeds melodic blocks finishing an accordion final test

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