Other Flutes (Other Worlds)

     I have always been fascinated with other flutes. You can find a list and a brief description in the Other Flutes section. The sound that these instruments make, while quite different from our flute, are nonetheless the voice of the flute. The compelling and beautiful sound of these instruments becomes even more fascinating by virtue of the styles of music that they are found in.

      I realize that for years I have been trying to smuggle some of the flexibility and openness of these native flutes into the Bohem flute. Those who have been following my work will remember the Gem midi module with foot pedal pitch bender and harmonizing functions. More recently there are the semi-folk style instruments I have made like the fretless flute, the radial bansuri and the electronic whammy bar headjoint. All of this has been in an attempt to create the degree of microtonal flexibility within the concert flute that one hears in the major world traditions.

      I feel that new musics lead to new musical instruments and also that new musical instruments give rise to new musics. In guitar playing, the two handed style of playing that brought the music of Paganini to rock lovers everywhere actually led to the creation of new guitars utilizing new materials. Also, the novel guitar, tremolo, and digital signal processing designs led to completely new approaches to guitar music, such as the music of David Torn. As a flute player, I am more than a little envious of this series of developments in guitar making and playing. My work reflects a desire to develop the flute in new ways.

      I would recommend that any listener explore the music of Hari Prasad Chaurasia. He can take a single note and turn it inside out. There is an open and relaxed quality to his playing that is a rarity. It is this quality, along with increased flexibility and rock star potential, that I hope to stir together into an innovative flute. Stay tuned…