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A Sshhmute for cornet or trumpet. The Sshhmute is a black plastic cone with a slightly wider end. It has a band of cork near the narrow part of the body which forms a seal when the mute is inserted into the bell of the trumpet. There is a bright yellow plastic lid on the bell of the mute, with a hole in the middle to allow the air to escape. " " is printed in white on the black barrel of the mute.
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It's not often that an object originally made out of a suitcase can save a marriage, but Trevor and Betty Bremner's Sshhmute has that rare distinction! In 1999 Trevor and Betty were living in Brisbane, where Betty was working nights. Trevor, a highly-regarded and well known cornet player, needed to practice while she was sleeping during the day. After some problem solving and innovative thinking, the first Sshhmute was born - first made out of part of a suitcase!

Trevor saw the value in providing other brass players with lightweight, transportable mutes which crucially did not affect the sound or feel of practicing. The first Sshhmute was designed for trumpets and cornets, and was made from plastic with a cork seal to keep the mute in place in the bell of the instrument. Right from the beginning, Sshhmutes were almost entirely Taranaki made. In 2009 the Bremners shifted back to New Plymouth and the business has gone from strength to strength. The Bremners now manufacture mutes for eight different brass instruments and have recently released the Whisper Mute, which is used for on-stage performers for particularly quiet sections of music. Amazingly, almost all of the production for the mutes still takes place right here in Taranaki, with only the printing for the label on the mute being done in Wellington. About 95% of the mutes are sold to overseas buyers or distributors, with a recent order to Japan comprising over 400 mutes. The Bremner's design has earned them praise from many corners, including from some of the world's best brass players.
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