The craft of luthier, or instrument maker, is certainly not for everybody. Instruments made from well-seasoned woods by experienced hands in tiny and cosy workshops have a completely different soul than the mass-produced instruments that leave the factory every day. The luthier who knows what he or she is doing will produce an instrument that is going to be unique, simply because the manual processes carried out and especially the energy put to the task vary in every occasion.
Moreover, there are some luthiers who produce instruments that factories cannot or do not even care to produce. In these cases, it is thanks to the instrument makers that some instruments survive to our days, and sometimes they are even reborn. Such is the case of Gunnar Stenmark, a very talented instrument maker from Ås (Jämtland, Sweden) who specializes in traditional and newly-developed folk wind instruments.
Gunnar earned his fame for building härjedalspipor but he also builds offerdalspipa, bjårkspipa, caval, åspipa, stenlundapipa and månmarkapipa . He is also a member of the band Glamaleik and became a riksspelman in 2007.
I own two fipple flutes made by him: a månmarkapipa in A and an offerdalspipa in E. Both are of really good quality and produce an astonishing sound and tone. The månmarkapipa is a 7-hole variety of the härjedalspipa, which adds an extra semitone below the keynote (which in my case would be a G#). This modification came as a suggestion by probably the most well-known Swedish piper, Göran Månsson, because there are many Swedish folk melodies that have this interval. As a result of this joint-project of research and manufacture the flute bears part of both their last-names (månsson+stenmark = månmarkapipa).
Here follows a video I made with pictures of a trip to Skåne and Öland (Sweden) and where I play a melody of my own on the månmarkapipa. It is entitled “Ett Vallspel” (A shepherd´s tune):
If you would like to have a månmarkapipa (or any other Swedish whistle) of your own, you can order them directly from the maker here