The Questions People Ask a Whistlemaker
Misha Somerville answers questions often asked about an unusual and incredible profession.
mk music was founded by Misha Somerville in 2000, with the intention of making the World’s best whistles.
Working from a workshop by Loch Ness, Scotland, in between performing with Scottish Fusion Band Croft No. Five, it took literally thousands of attempts to design a prototype for a Low D whistle on which other mk whistles would be based. Within months, the mk Low D had a waiting list stretching to several years.
As it became obvious demand was far outstripping supply, developing the production techniques to maintain such a high quality proved to be as difficult as the original design itself. The results, from the aerospace grade materials and the super precise machining on Swiss lathes to the craftsman's eye and musician's ear, speak for themselves. For those involved, making these musical instruments has been an obsession.
My inspiration to make whistles has come from the opportunity to try new ideas. As with music itself, musical instruments have always evolved with the times – a sonic and aesthetic representation of the generation. The great instruments of today – from the drum kit to the saxophone – are the product of generations of musicians, listeners and craftsmen who value invention and innovation over preservation. Much work has gone into making the great instruments we know today – each generation using the knowledge from the past, and technology of the time, to bring new sounds to people's ears. To them we credit past inventions, but what will the musical instruments of the future look and sound like? I am positive the evolution will not stop here and am excited to think what might come next.
Misha Somerville, Glasgow, 2003