19 years ago, we were deciding on a name for the baby we were expecting soon, and in the event of a girl child, had decided on “Emma,” which was not a common name at that time, but has since become maybe the most popular name for baby girls. With the rise of Emma Watson’s star, it will likely hold that place for a while longer. We thought it was pretty, there was some family history (in the geneological sense.) “Emmie” was my favorite Laura Nyro song, (even though Emmie in the title is Emily), but we also felt that the intelligent, sophisticated, beautiful and deadly Emma Peel would be a great role model for the daughter we hadn’t yet met.
We brainstormed a bit over a middle name, even to the point of browsing baby name books, and one jumped right off the page; “Nevada,” Spanish origin, meaning “white as snow.” It was perfect for this fair skinned, blonde baby girl, had the additional appeal of referencing my name, but what sealed it for me was the delightful way “Emma Nevada” rolls off the tongue with its own rythym, reminding me of Poe’s “Annabelle Lee.” And so it was, Emma Nevada Jackson Fahs.
It was several years later when my sister showed up with a gift, found at a yard sale, of a framed etching of a locomotive named the Emma Nevada.
Startled, I did a web search and discovered that the train was named after a famous opera singer of the late 19th century, who had risen from humble beginnings to be a world famous soprano. Born Emma Wixom, she chose a stage name that included the state of her birth, in a mining camp, and I like to think that the musical nature of the name appealed to her as well.
I’ve been naming my instruments as I work on them, hopefully contributing to the process of making each one unique, and having its own personality. This one gets the name because it’s pretty and complicated, like my daughter, and has a beautiful voice like the original Emma Nevada.
Sitka spruce top, flamed European maple back and sides, with a bloodwood center strip. bloodwood and maple shopmade rope binding, Padauk headstock, 5 piece laminated neck of padauk, ebony and lacewood. Note, the truss rod cover has been taken off here, showing an adjustable rod. Hopefully, I’ll be adding some sound files in the next week, as well as a few additional instruments.