Monday, August 25, 2008

My Trip To America. Part 1. INAFA Convention 2008


Here is a description of my 5 ½ week journey to the USA this year, I packed a lot into this short time but wished there was more time and finances and no commitments calling me back home, as the journey called me on like guiding or leading spirit magnetising me to other great experiences and people. I was however happy to return home to the country that for me is the best country in the world for many good reasons but I feel that I will also return to the Americas soon to continue my journey there. I am particularly drawn to visit Peru and Mexico again and travel to other South American Countries like Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Brazil. But that's another story. There are 5 parts to this story and this is the first, hope you enjoy.

Part 1. INAFA Convention 2008

My flights were very exhausting, first flying to Taipei, waiting for 5 hours then continuing on to LA where I had another 5 hour wait to then catch a plane to Minneapolis St Paul where I was to wait further then get an interstate shuttle to Eau Claire Wisconsin, my continuous journey was 2 whole days and nights of traveling through 4 time zones, but thankfully I had a few days to kill before The INAFA convention where I was attending as a flute vendor, member and participant. I enjoyed the rest at a motel then made my way to the University of Wisconsin where I would be staying for the next 6 days to register for the convention. It was great to see many good friends and instantly felt at home and very excited as there were some amazing performances scheduled. I have some photos of the convention below. My highlight was meeting Joseph Fire Crow of the Cheyenne nation who has long been my favorite flute player, I have been more inspired by him, his music and story than any other player but that’s not to say that others havn’t inspired me though. Joseph is a flute man, meaning he makes and plays flutes, Joseph says he now only makes a few a year. Josephs story can be read here….

Joseph and me when we met. Wow he's a big guy, my hand hardly reached the other side of him. He was very happy I was inspired by him and I gifted him a copy of my CD. Joseph has another name in Cheyenne of which the english translation is unsuccessful bear, he says this is a very old powerful worrier name of his people.

My stand in the vendors section.

Me playing the flute.

Me looking a bit tired, still heavily jetlagged and with so many flutie experiences, peak saturation , I need sleep or a triupple dandy jolt!! Where do you get them around here?

A good friend from RNAF 2006 Jeff Miller purchases my personal drone that I recorded the song Harmony with on my recent Album. Jeff said it was the best sounding drone available of all the vendors present and he'd played them all. Thanks Jeff and I hope you two have a good journey together.

Colin Peterson, a lovely man, proudly standing in front of his flutes. A great maker, Colin is starting to get some recognition and a following for the quality of his flutes and justly so.
I bought 3 from him this year and love them dearly.

John Kulias, (Shame I missed him duck) who truly is a beautiful spirit, makes clay flutes and I admit they are some of the most amazingly tuned and voiced instruments I have ever played, so you guessed it I had to have one, which he is still holding in safe keeping for me. Making clay flutes has got to be one of the hardest things anyone could take on but he does it like a master and was inspired by masters like Xavier Quijas Yxaotal (flutes pictured down page) and Guillermo Martinez whom I was lucky enough to apprentice with on this trip, see part 3.

Tim Blueflints flutes. Tim a beautiful spirit also, was someone I connected well with but wished I had connected more with, he grew up on the Res (Indian Reservation) and justly calls his flute s Shades of Res Flutes, they sound and play very well.

Who's this big Texan? Keith Glowka plays a Mojave flute like a master, a seriously hard instrument to play. Love you and love your work Keith.

Some of Keiths lovely instruments including Buffalo Horn Flutes, A double bamboo flute and another horned flute I forget the name of.

Keith showing off to Gary and Russ Venable of RV flutes with his Mojave playing skills, Russ looks like he is pulling out his bathroom drain pipe flute, watch out its no mach for a Mojave in the hands of a wild Texan!! LOL.

Craig Chan from Earth Tone Flutes and Gary Leatham from Woodsounds Flutes and I talking together.

Along comes Larry Evens with his deep Texas accent, beautiful flute Larry, this particular flute are a couple, the butterfly sticks on the block of the main flute with a magnet and flutters around, they are both in D, now that's very innovative and who didn't love it. Brent Hanes from Wood Sounds gives it the once over and play tests it. Everyone loves Larry and his flutes, he is an enigma. Here is a you tube video I took of this experience.

Jeff and Joanne Calavan from Oregon Flute Store inspect their lunch delivery, is the salad up to Jeff's standard? Oregon flute store are resellers of many fine makers as well as Jeff and his brother being great makers themselves, they were part of the first Flute Circle in America and helped Sherry Kuhl start it all those years ago.

Picture taken of the floor from the mezinene on the last night after the concert. Quite a turn out.

In brief The performances were truly amazing, the highlights being the night time concerts by Frank Montano - Ojibwe, joseph Fire Crow -Cheyenne, Scott August, Autums Child, and Xavier Quijas Xyotal- Huichol, also not to forget the amazing Coyote Oldman who plays the anasazi flute truly amazingly. It's maybe just the hardest flute in the world to play but he is a real master if there is one. I must also mention that Jan Sydan played a lovely afternoon concert and Kevin Lokee, very well known old school Lokata flute player gave a fantastic talk on the old Lakota Songs. Peter Phippen also did a lovely presentation and I wish they had given him more time cause he had only just got started before the 90 Min's was up.

Meeting many new flute makers that I had not met at the previous convention was a great experience and gave us all a chance to check out each others flutes and talk about our various techniques and approaches. I have a good photo of Joseph Fire Crow and as others I took were accidentally deleted to free up space on my camera I will ask Grizzly from England to send me a few beauties as he is a professional photographer.

Randy Mcguiness of the Cherokee Nation was the MC for the entire week and did a lovely job, what a gently spirit.

Joseph performing on the Friday Night a really fantastic performance.

Mark Holland of Autems Child performing on the Friday night, great concert.

So I loved the entertainment and connection with the great flute makers. I made sure I bought a few flutes from Coyote Oldman AKA Michael Graham Allen who was one of the very early flute makers when the renaissance began 30 years ago, Micheal was kind enough to gift me a flute also and I truly thank him for that and his kind hearted personality and generosity, I also acquired a Anasazi flute from Michael which I can not yet play very well as its harder than Shakuhachi, and 3 flutes by Colin Peterson which I intend recording with. I traded and sold and gifted my own flutes and CD’s and leather bags. I also purchased a flute form Jeff Calivan that had belonged to the late great Dr Richard W Payne who basically was a flute maker, historian and player who started the renaissance by gifting a flute to Sonny Nevacoya who then became a famous flute player and inspired others like R Carlos Nakai to become a player who then inspired masses of flute players. Jeff finished the flute as Dr Payne had not yet finished it, its in Dr Paynes original Diatonic tuning. I couldn’t resist buying this flute for my collection as the opportunity may never present itself again. I also bought a flute by Gary Khul whom I met 2 years ago, A beautiful little flute. Keith Glowka gifted me a Mojave flute which I will also have to continue practicing on and perfecting, another very difficult flute to play as its an end blown embouchure flute. I gifted Keith a lovely Buckskin flute bag.

I thank the INAFA and all its board members and the hosting flute circle, the Eau Claire Flute Circle for all their effort and work to make a great convention and I truly enjoyed and was honoured to be there and part of such a great event.

What a lovely smile that is Xavier

Nice flutes too, this is his premium creation only $1850 USD so start saving. It's a double Drone Mayan Flute with two more little flutes on the side and an eagle whistle in the small head. He played this on stage and it was a truly amazing experience.

More flutes

and more

and a close up, these are all very amazing and all ahve a story too, they are replicas of the most ancient Mayan Aztec flutes. More Info

Xavier also played in concert and here is a video I made with his permission.

So thats it for now, I'll update here with more photos when I hear from Grizly.

Thanks for reading this and I'd love to hear your comments, please click link.

Blessings on the journey.

1 comment:

Paul said...

wow matt ~ I've never been drawn to the US, but there is obviously some pockets of sacred beauty.

wondeful journey spiritsong brother, you help inspire and connect~

~bless and blessings ~