September 11, 2019
Tuned to Perfection: The Resonant Tale of Instrument Maker Miles O’Malley
Melding Tradition with Innovation in Instrument Making
From the delicate, meticulous work of a seamstress to the precision required in the repair of musical instruments, Miles O’Malley has woven together a life of dedication, craftsmanship, and innovation. Deeply influenced by the art of making things by hand, Miles is a testament to the idea that traditional methods can still be infused with a fresh perspective.
Watch the world premiere documentary in its entirety below:
Family Roots and Crafting Musical Instruments
Growing up in a family where his father was a police officer and his mother was a seamstress, Miles learned early on the value of discipline and the art of creation. While most would consider the work of a police officer and a seamstress vastly different, they converge in Miles’ world. He likened making a bell pattern for instruments to creating a flat template for upholstery – a process where a flat design eventually takes on a curved, three-dimensional form. In his words, “We do it with hammers, and [my mother] just did it with stitches.”
Beyond the Conventional: Miles’ Unique Path
Most instrument makers are content to assemble instruments from parts made by other specialists. Miles, however, found this approach uninspiring. From his teen years, he possessed a burning desire to craft every part of an instrument himself. This passion led him to buy tools, learn from YouTube videos, and eventually drop out from DePaul to pursue instrument making full-time. His dedication was so palpable that people began gifting him equipment, recognizing his genuine intent to master his craft.
Miles’ Digital Workshop: Sharing Knowledge on YouTube
Miles believes in sharing knowledge. Recognizing the power of digital platforms, he turned to YouTube not just as a learning tool but also as a medium to give back. His channel isn’t just about showing off skills, but it’s an educational platform. Miles ensures he dives deep, offering in-depth explanations, aiming to inspire and educate budding instrument makers.
The Joy of Creation
Miles’ instruments are not just products; they are a culmination of his passion, dedication, and unwavering commitment to craftsmanship. Every time an artist plays one of his creations, it’s not just music that resonates, but also Miles’ heart and soul.
Despite the accolades and success, Miles remains grounded. “I’m not exactly sure what motivates me,” he confesses. Yet, every day he wakes up with an urge to do things better, and every night he’s pulled to his workshop, always driven to refine, reimagine, and reinvent.
In a world of mass production and fleeting attention spans, Miles O’Malley stands out as a beacon of passion, reminding us of the beauty of handcrafted perfection. His story isn’t just about making instruments; it’s about listening to one’s inner call, pursuing it relentlessly, and finding joy in every note of life’s symphony.
Don’t forget to watch the Miles O’Malley world premiere documentary short!