Paul Jefferies

Musical instrument maker and artist

In 1995 after seeking careers advice, the suggestion was that I pursue my musical instrument making skills with a view to doing it professionally.  After several years of study and diversification, undertaking full and part time courses at colleges and university, as well as working alongside highly respected craftsman I returned percussion instruments when I obtained employment at a leading shop in the heart of London.

By the turn of the millennium it was apparent that being employed was limiting my personal development so I set up Orchestral Percussion that same year.  For the next seven years I continued to live and work in London doing work for all the leading professionals and orchestras based in the UK.  After a sabbatical somewhere in the mountains of Spain I returned to the UK and established myself in Kent with renewed vigour and a whole new outlook as to how I made and repaired instruments which continues to this day.  During those years in Kent I started to work on instruments of significantly greater value as well as being asked to participate in the television documentary Scrapheap Orchestra. 

In 2013 I relocated again back to the North of England to be closer to my family and friends which is where I am now.  This time I built my own workshop so the very building I work in is specifically designed for the manufacture and repair of percussion instruments.  As the work I am asked to do moves away from repair to the manufacture of bespoke instruments for customers all over the world, a parallel career has developed from my ability to seemingly create musicality from almost anything.  In the past few years I have been asked to create instruments made from old gas and electricity meters, car parts and broken brass instruments.  Because a lot of these projects are for television or live performances I take full advantage of the creative freedom and try and make the instruments as visually interesting as possible.  It is this approach that has ultimately led to me being asked by Nordic Music Days to create a musical sculpture to represent the theme of the festival which is the Northern Lights.

See a short film where Paul talks more about the project.