Who am I?
My name is Mark Ty-Wharton, aka TINLEY or Mark Tinley. I am diagnosed with autism and own the music shop in Glastonbury.
In the past I've worked as a musician, producer, recording engineer and sound artist. Things I can think of off the top of my head that might be notable include fronting Tabathas Nightmare and playing live at the Batcave at the height of the goth scene. Sampling things in Diskord Datkord and releasing a cover of X-Ray Spex Identity on SOHO records and restructured for 2021. Recording and producing Britain's first Acid House Band in 1988. Touring as a Pro Tools engineer for Duran Duran and recording several albums in studios across the World. Working with Warren and Nick to create TV-Mania. Working with Nick Rhodes to produce The Dandy Warhols (Welcome to the Monkey House). Releasing my own music and collaborating with others, most recently with contributors to the Sonic State Podcast.
I've burned the midnight oil in Abbey Road, Paisley Park and Sunset Sound. I've toured the arenas and stadiums of the World. And I often hear songs I've recorded playing in the supermarket while I am buying my groceries.
I originally opened the music shop as a sound art gallery. Things evolved after a chance encounter with Hywel Jenkins, who encouraged me to sell instruments and strings to serve local music scene. I've worked hard to create a hub for the local community. This includes a scheme called playitforwards.org.uk to provide free street guitars and ukuleles that anyone can borrow and play.
Following the closure of the shop in Benedict Street, my store has evolved to carry a variety of mainstream accessories and instruments, as well as carrying out repairs.
The store also has an extensive directory of guitars made by local luthiers and access to a number of excellent guitar repair technicians in house or outsourced. The store moved to its current location on Glastonbury High Street in 2019.
Assistance in the art of rebellious noise
Sonus Magus is not just a guitar shop. It is a creative hub designed to help explore, research and source all kinds of instruments.
In 2021, I am focusing on rebuilding and restructuring my business, to stay in business. Please bear with me, at the moment I'm running the shop on my own. I am looking for a 16-24 year old who can provide general assistance. If this is you, email me your CV or drop it into the shop. In the short term I'm becoming more specialist, carrying less stock, while covering a wider range of items by drop shipping.
Retail and repairs
My primary instrument is guitar. I am a self taught musician and my knowledge of music theory is scientific. My primary field of musical expertise is computer based digital audio workstations and synthesisers. I build recording studios and maintain and setup all kinds of musical instruments including minor electrical repairs. I have considerable experience with MIDI and DSP.
Second hand, new, or trading in
The majority of the stock in the shop is new and cherry picked from over a dozen British wholesalers. My pricing reflects the MSRP at the point when the item was stocked. Now interest rates and inflation are soaring, you might find you can pick up NOS items from me at lower than Amazon prices. It will certainly save you the hassle of shopping online and having to send things back when they aren't what you expected.
I am conscientious about hygiene and I have a guitar lounge and you can 'try out' instruments by appointment only, because we will need to book a staff member or close the shop so you can do this. If you walk in and pick up a guitar and play it without asking you will be asked to pay a sanitisation fee.
In addition to base line stock, I also carry new instruments made by select British cottage industry manufacturers, such as Alan Miller guitars, or Wildwood flutes. If you make something interesting and you would like to sell in Glastonbury, please contact me.
I also work with various local guitar techs and luthiers, who supply the majority of our second hand stuff.
I can offer trade-ins at 60% of current trending market value (dependent on age, condition and interest/rarity) against new instruments in the shop. Only one instrument per purchase will be taken in part exchange. I no longer sell second hand instruments on consignment due to COVID. I will occasionally buy exceptional second hand instruments. This exception probably only extends to that rusty old thing Grandad once played when you were a kid. It's currently sitting in your loft? Go ahead, bring it in!
I build handmade one off instruments and electronics which provide a unique opportunity to incorporate tailor made sound into your art. Custom made instruments, being unstandardised, offer a freedom of range in form, character, choice of materials and workmanship which mass produced counterparts can never equal.
In a global music marketplace, where discovering new music can be like finding a needle in a haystack, anything you can do to stand out from the crowd can be like a beacon, shining a spotlight on your talent in a world of darkness.
Why open a music shop as retail plunges into recession?
Buying online leaves us with a niche that flies in the face of homogenous marketing. Glastonbury High Street still offers a wealth of successful independents who follow this model. By tailoring services to specifically meet customer requirements, I feel bricks and mortar stores still offer an unbeatable buying experience, for successful people who want to benefit from talking things through, seeing the value in one to one advice and knowing where that expertise can take you.