MISSOM® is for many people a name totally unknown. For others is a custom tool. We speak of a Portuguese brand created by Miguel Ralha, dedicated to the creation of drumsticks to drums and other musical instruments. Come with us and discover this musical universe.
By pronouncing the word drumsticks the image of the two “wood sticks” used to play drums arises immediately. There are those who say that they are an extension of the arms of drummer, however, not everyone knows that the simple design of these simple “sticks” – that can have different sizes, weights and thicknesses – can be much more complex than at first imagined view.
Let’s go to the discovery of MISSOM ®, a manufacturer of this tool so precious to the drummers, in Rua dos Navegantes, 73 in the city of Porto, Portugal.
Miguel Ralha, pioneer in creating custom drumsticks for percussion
To receive us is Miguel Ralha, craftsman and flute teacher in Gambozinos – Cultural Association. His journey began in 1978 as a craftsman, where he worked in various areas inside the craft. Music has always occupied a place in his life, having already played in groups like TocáRufar and Roda Viva. In fact, Miguel Ralha began teaching flute at age 15.
The request of friends and musicians to build some instruments led him to join the craft of music. A fusion which subsequently threw a new challenge: the creation of drumsticks to play drums. Uniting his own two vocations, Miguel Ralha with MISSOM® fulfill the project of a lifetime with preference for wooden instruments because it believes they are the best for student learning.
As recalled by Miguel Ralha, it all begin with the proposal of the musician Miguel Bernat, responsible for Drumming. “He had conceived some sticks that did not exist in the market and gave me the challenge to be the one to do them,” he says.
For at least one year, they both developed an intensive research prototypes until they reach the final model.
Neither the craftsman, not the musician, realized whatever was the work to build drumsticks. “The only thing Miquel Bernat knew is what he wanted in terms of performer, but he had no idea how it’s constructed or what kind of wood we would use,” confesses Miguel Ralha. Finally, the model was calculated and from it emerged other variants.
According to the explanation, the drumsticks of Miquel Bernat to multipercussion are used by him and Drumming in contemporary classical repertoire. Beyond the model Drumming, they also created “the model Tactus which are extremely stringent and designed to box orchestra and the model Hibrid that have a multifunctionality that makes a model two in one”, he explains. This was the first step to start MISSOM® brand.
And curiosity imposes itself: why this name?
In a short and objective answer Miguel Ralha unraveled the mystery. “It was decided on a meeting of friends. On the one hand, as I call Miguel, friends and students call me Mi. The sound suggests the sound of the note Mi, then MISSOM. On the other side, and thinking about the possibility of internationalization, is a word that allows you to be read in any language.”