The most particular and unique tiple artist is with no doubt Ed Askew, the underground folk singer; also known for his paintings he travelled the last 50 years droping few tunes now considered as masterpieces.
Rediscoverd and honored by the new folk scene he's a pure songwriter, singing his poetry with an intense white voice and a strong folk-played tiple for only orchestration.
His "life story" with the ten strings instrument began as he was a child and is nicely related in this article named "how I got my martin tiple" he wrote for the "fretboard Journal" in 2009, but the incredible full of karma and beloved T15 story , lost in a train, continues here, in a youtube confession….
We can find in a Jacob Kaplan 2011 interview this exchange about the tiple:
JK Did your tiple playing change between Ask the Unicorn and Little Eyes?
EA A little. I became more precise. I could pick out melodic lines. If you listen to [Little Eyes], the tiple playing is much more specific. The thing that kind of broke my heart was . . . I got really good at the tiple, later on. I got much better later on. But none of that ever got recorded.
JK I read somewhere that for you the very act of playing the tiple—something you don’t do much anymore—affects the way you sing, the timbre of your voice.
EA When I played the tiple I used to tend to dance, so that would have an effect on the way I sang. The whole thing was very intense, and the tiple’s loud. It doesn’t look loud, but it’s very loud. And I suppose it had to do with those songs.
and in a David Shirley article, The Ageless Poetry of Ed Askew
an interesting comment about the hardness of the instrument playability and it's implication in the artist personality :
The tiple's ten steel strings are tuned high like a ukulele, with which it shares a bombastic tone and lingering projection. Introduced by Martin in 1924, the instrument is notoriously difficult to play, and much of Ask the Unicorn's irresistible appeal involves Askew's heroic and not-always-entirely-successful attempts to keep the damned thing under control while simultaneously keeping up with the songs' relentless vocals.
Ed , playing a tiple tune in 2010.
1986 TV Show
The unique Ed askew'sT15 pickguard
In 2007 Ed hardly played the tiple and asks Joshua Burkett to play with him on this Set / interview appearence.
The young Psych- folk artist plays an unknown new tiple showing a particular headstock profile.