master srtinged instrument maker
Mihkel Soon Traditional Instruments
I have been making music instruments for 20 years and have specialized in making traditional string instruments. I also lead instrument-making courses and give maintenance and repair services.
When making instruments, I am inspired by the aesthetical feeling that has formed inside me while studying historical instruments in museums. I want my instruments to have the look of an old instrument while fitting into contemporary aesthetical standards, instrument ergonomics and playability.
In terms of sound quality I like to play around with a wide scale of sound timbres from what pleases people in general to unique special sounds that a musical connoisseur would desire. The knowledge of acquiring different desired sound timbres and avoiding unwanted sound properties has built up in time with experience while making instruments.
All my instrument sound boxes are made of a single hollowed out piece of wood and finished with hand tools. Using machines in the first steps of instrument making, the final shape and look is given working with hand tools. That way I can use my skills and experience to get the best out of the particular piece of wood and tree species. Each instrument is unique. Razor-sharp blades give a shining-smooth surface that is beautiful to both for the eye to see and hand to touch. Natural oils are used to give a finsih that makes the surface warm to the touch, strong and easy to clean.
Most of my instruments are played by Estonian musicians, but some instruments have found their home also in Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, Danmark, Belarus, Germany, USA, Japan, Tibet, and Hongkong.
Special orders and sales of traditional string instruments
KANNEL WITH WING
First part of "A Craftsman´s story"
Meelis Kihulane talks with traditional instrument maker Mihkel Soon. Estonian Folk Art and Craft Union´s “2021 – year of handicraft men” interview. Video recorded 19.05.2021 in Võrumaa, Estonia.