Thursday, October 14, 2010

Back to the past

I originally meant this blog to reflect my activities and thoughts on tatting and thus the recent lack of any activity.

I still want to tat but my life has been quite hectic so art, crafts and music have not had their rightful place in my life. Unfortunately I am finding that my mental health is taking a turn for the worse because of this.

I am still taking a lace class but if it were not for the actual class times I would not be doing any lace at all. There is a workshop on Beds in November and since I have been working on Beds for a while I plan on attending. Wow almost six hours a day for two days; should be fun.

There was something that happened today that I want to tell people about, but before I get to that a little background or rambling, depending on how you look at it.

In order to try and put some life back into my existence I have decided to take up the traverso again. I have started to playing-in some of my one-key transverse flutes and have been more or less happy with my progress.

I am over halfway playing in my Verhoeven Beaulieu bore in Blackwood with no rings, pitched at A=392 hz; a gorgeous instrument both in appearance and sound ( look for number 89). The bore is based on a French flute circa 1720. It has a small embouchure hole and this took some getting used to. At first I was very concerned about intonation and unevenness, but it was me not the flute.

When I first took of the “baroque flute” back in FEbruary of 1981 I was mainly a recorder player and had played baritone in High School. I had wanted a “baroque flute” for a while mainly because of a recording I fell in love with: Michel de La Barre, Pieces Pour La Flute Traversiere, 1710.

Stephen Preston used a copy of a Hotteterre flute. It was the most amazing sound I had ever heard. It is a great recording and I still get a little annoyed at myself for taking so long to figure out just who Jordi Savall, Blandine Verlet and Hopkinson Smith were, a few year actually.

But in 1984 Amster Music and Art shop, sold me a Moeck one-key in Blackwood and ivory. It was funny; the main saleman knew me and knew I might buy the flute. When he saw that I had seen the flute he almost knocked one of the other employees down getting to me. I seem to remember the flute costing about $500 back then and it being the largest check I had ever written. I was so nervous I had to get on my knees and my writing was a bit more than a little shaky.

I still like this flute and now that my Verhoeven is in its third week of breaking in (30 minutes a day) and my CF (later) is still in its second week (10 minutes, twice a day) I started playing-in the Moeck today.

Now the Moeck is a copy of a F.G. Kirst (1750 – 1806) so though alright for Quantz, CPE Bach and the like, it certainly never satisfied my desire for the sound Preston produces on the Hotteterre copy.

After two weeks I am getting control over the Beaulieu bore and when I play La Barre I can actually hear the sound I have been after, even if I am still horribly out of practice.

So here I will leave off for now and get ready for bed. When I can’t sleep, all too often, I sit in a recliner and listen to my mp3 player. It was mainly Blavet and Quantz, but the last couple of days it has been Locatelli. I appear to be addicted to the flute again. I hope this is a good thing at this time in my life. It does make me feel good, I am even exercising (a little).

1 comment:

Maureen said...

Sorry to hear that you have been below par, Pat, but it's good that you can enjoy your flute again - music is very healing.