Native Flute: Voices of the Wind

“The flute and its music are indigenous to this land, it comes from being here.”

~ Ken Light

This gorgeous Rosewood Flute is handmade by Brent Haines of Woodsounds

September 2006, Seattle, WA. – the first Flute Festival I attended. The weather was picture perfect for the first 2-day long Flute Festival. I arrived early so as to not miss a second. The grounds slowly filled as the day progressed. I spent the afternoon in a workshop, a beginner’s flute class, with the very lively and animated Clint Goss. As the afternoon drew to an end and above our beginner’s tones, I could hear through the open windows the mystically serene songs drifting in from the stage outside – the more experienced players had arrived and began to play. My entire soul, every cell in my body, transformed into the lightness of an Owl’s feather drifting silently through the air with the vibration of the sound. This was surely heaven.

For me, there is something about the sounds of the ancient instruments, the hand drum and flute, that resonates with the core of our humanity. The spirit comes awakened. It’s more than beautiful music, it’s the voice of the wind. The long-lost messages and wisdom of our ancestors bringing me home. When I find myself in that place I long to remove myself from the insanity of this modern world. To be back among the wildness of nature, in the presence of that which is no longer tangible in today’s conditioned and regimented world. I wonder how and why we allowed ourselves to become so removed from something so civilized and enlightened of merely being present in this life.

I have since moved to the mountains of North Carolina and have awaited the opportunity to attend a Flute Festival again. In today’s email my wait is over. As I opened Brent Haines newsletter I became swept away with a little story he included, I would like to share that here…

“I have been inspired and touched by the people with whom I have spent the last week or so with here in Chinle and Nazlini. There are many differences between our cultures. The beauty of the culture I am currently in has captured my heart and filled me.

Brother in-law, Darrel, told me about the joining of the hands when two people meet. Each person says Ya-te-hey. He said the swirls in our fingers tips and the swirls in our palms. The swirls in our bellies and all the swirls of energy in our body. There are lots of swirls that make us up. These swirls are all just like the swirl of the Milky Way Galaxy in which we live. When we great someone we join our hand to their hand and say Ya-te-hey. The Ya means universe. So it is very literally the greeting our our universe and your universe meeting when we shake hands. This is done gently You do not need to show grandma how strong you are by crushing her hand in a firm grip. So the hand shake is ever so gentle. Yet it is the joining of two Universes. And how powerful is this?”

I sat there thinking about what I had read and thought how meaningful Brent’s story is, how it showed such honor and respect – far beyond the sensation or gesture of an ordinary handshake. This is how life should be.

I scrolled slowly down through the newsletter and came across yet again some of the most amazing looking and sounding flutes that he has available right now (see the image above). I know that the Rosewood this flute is made of is quite rare because some years back Rosewood essential oil was no longer available, my half full 15ml bottle of Rosewood essential oil stays neatly in my case and every so often I open the cap to inhale the divine aroma. The preciousness of life.

Brent has this to say about this flute…

“Honduran Rosewood Burl is my favorite wood. With the rich red, purple and black swirls, the beauty to the eye is unparalleled. The aroma is magnificent and will fill the air in the room you play your flute in with a sweet wonderful scent.

The sound is clean and pure yet round and full. Incredible projection. If you are looking for the best possible wood for look and sound, this is the wood.

Unfortunately, it is quite rare. I am always keeping an eye out for the wood, but only am able to find it every four years or so. If this wood is calling to you, give me a call right away as if I do have it now, I will likely not have it for much longer.”

I met Brent at the Flute Festival in Seattle and saw his amazing works of art. I also heard them being played by artist flutists, like Robert Mirabal – who will be the topic of my next post in a few days. Needless to say, Brent’s flutes are the cream of the crop in terms of beauty of appearance and sound. They are quite possibly unmatched.

Scrolling down further in the newsletter revealed a piece of news that took my breath away. On June 6-8, 2013 there will be a flute gathering, Renaissance of the North American Flute Foundation (RNAFF) at the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in eastern Tennessee – which is practically right in my backyard!

R. Carlos Nakai, who I also saw in Seattle, will be there. As well as, John Sarantos, JJ Kent, Ken Light, Johnny Lipford, Randy Granger, Jan Michael Looking Wolf, and Rona Yellow Robe.

~~ Register Here for the RNAFF Flute Festival ~~

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