Two years ago, Luke Janssen, CEO of a Sydney firm, was acclaimed as the world’s best whistler, when he won an intenational contest held annually in Louisburg, North Carolina (pop. 3000).
It’s ironic that he’s better known in the US than in Australia. Last week he was featured in articles in the New York Times and the Arabic news agency Al Jazeera.
“Luke Janssen wants to make whistling cool again,” Erik Olsen wrote in the New York Times.
“Sitting in a chair in his Williamsburg apartment, Mr. Janssen, who is from England, whistled along to a blues song as he strummed his guitar. But his is no ordinary warble. In fact, Mr. Janssen, 35, is considered one of the world’s best whistlers. And he may also be one of the more controversial.
“Mr. Janssen, who is chief executive of a mobile applications company based in Sydney, Australia, was in vigorous practice mode in his apartment, preparing for a return to Louisburg, N.C., and the International Whistlers Convention, which was held this month and is considered the whistling world’s most prestigious competition.”
The Al Jazeera story said: “Whistlers often talk about the need to “pucker-up” but oh boy do they need to have rubber lips and flexible tongues to do it.
“I dunno if you saw that but that’s how it’s done,” said competitor Luke Janssen, baring teeth, tongue and epiglottis to demonstrate his own special brand of trilling.
“Luke was a champion whistler two years ago and he came for his crown once again … but the competition was stiff.”
Last week, whistlers from 25 US states and 14 countries competed in Louisburg. Damariscotia Helm of Rocky Mount, North Carolina was judged best female whistler,
and Terry Rappold, of New Orleans, Louisiana won the men’s section.
Luke Luke Janssen is CEO and founder of TigerSpike, a technology driven personal media company. He took part in the 2004 Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
* You can hear (and see) Luke Janssen’s
remarkable whistling style in this video: