Monday, September 27, 2010

Joy 2/82: Flutes

The Yosemite Flute Festival ended yesterday and my flute collection grew to 3.  A few days ago I would have wondered why anyone would need three flutes but I've learned a lot in the past few days ... including the fact that people collect an incredible number of flutes even when they can't play them much at all.  I was amazed the first day when I met a guy in the "Flute for Dummies" class ... he had 21 flutes and was still an absolute beginner.  I soon found out that he was also just a beginner in the flute collecting department.  I talked to dozens of people who had 40-50 and one guy admitted to having 200! 

Now, obviously no one can play 200 flutes on a regular basis, so why do people buy so many?  Over the past several days I've started to understand the tendency ... flutes come in different keys, an incredible variety of woods, with inlays and without and with highly imaginative fetishes which form the air channel that actually makes the tone.  Some are absolutely works of art and command an art-like price tag.

My very puny collection now includes:

     1.  Key of G - made by Odell Borg, High Spirits Flutes.  A lovely flute but a   little hard for me to get a consistent tone from it, which I'm sure is more about me than it.
    2.  Key of F# - a Mark Holland signature flute made by Ed Hrebec, Spirit of the Woods Flutes.  Made of Claro Walnut with pommele sapele endcaps.This is a limited edition and I have #17.
     3.  Key of A - a "warbler" made from PVC pipe by Tim Blueflint, Shades of Rez Custom Flutes ... this one is for kayaking and camping.

Next year, if I have made progress learning to play, I have promised myself a flute made by Brent Haines of Woodsounds who makes some of the most beautiful flutes I've seen.

It was a joyful time being surrounded by these lovely instruments, hearing them, hearing the stories of the musicians and the flute makers, seeing the passion that people have for music, the crafting of the instruments and the healing spirit that comes when we find the songs within us and breathe them into the world.

Next year, the festival will expand to include "world music" and the dates are September 23, 24, 25.  Come join the fun!

1 comment:

  1. What a fun festival this must have been.

    My son has more than a couple of guitars, so why not flutes, too!