When Yorkshire designer Michael Wright was a little boy his brother John taught him to hold a small metal item between his teeth and pluck it with one finger.
We all do things we’d prefer to forget, but Michael Wright positively nurtured this bizarre childhood obsession, and has even written a reel – Banish Misfortune – for his beloved jew’s harp.
He recently took leave of absence from his post as head of creative design at York consultancy Ideas, and went with John to perform at Fagernes Jew’s Harp Festival in Norway.
“It’s not unlike giving a client presentation. You have to stand up and deliver. The only difference is that I tend to close my eyes throughout the performance – although sometimes I want to do that in client presentations too,” says Wright.
He liked Norway because the harp is taken seriously as a musical instrument. “If I say I play the jew’s harp here people just burst out laughing,” he says.
Was King David’s harp as small and – sorry Michael – insignificant looking as this key-ring-type object?