This page won't tell you much about me, except through some ideas I'll express about flutes, music, life, the universe and everything.
The above is with acknowledgement to Douglas Adams.
I make flutes for fun. I play flutes when I've made them to make sure they work. Then I make another one to try and fix the faults in the previous one.
The flutes I make are not the big production jobs, with silver keys and levers, and adjustable thingos and patented end stops. Those instruments, known as Boehm system flutes, make wonderful music in the hands of talented musicians.
But they are not (a) to be made by a simple man with simple tools, on a simple workbench under a eucalypt tree, nor (b) to be taken on a hiking trip into the bush, where dust, heat, moisture and rough treatment will wreak havoc with their precision parts.
I make simple flutes.
Which raises the question, what is a simple system flute?
The answer to this probably depends on where in the world you live. But for the purposes of this web page, the answer is:
A tube of metal, timber, bamboo, PVC, or whatever, with a blow hole and six finger holes. The blow hole is called the embouchure, and the number of finger holes can vary, but I use six. Why? Because a few years ago I bought a penny whistle, which has six holes, and my flute obsession grew from there.
But for simple flutes, a six hole format is common.
Blame the Irish. They've made them and played for centuries.
So seven holes in a tube. Simple. No moving parts, nothing to go wrong. And in the hands of a talented player, it also can make wonderful music.
"But", I hear someone say, "It's not a real flute, is it?"
"Well," I hear myself reply, "until about two hundred years ago, all flutes were simple system, and had been so for about three thousand years".
So, the simple flutes have a long and honourable history. It's quite possible that when Saul listened to David's music it was on a simple flute -perhaps end blown rather than transverse - and not the harp as often illustrated.