5 Minutes with Shaun Barlow in the BiG APPLE

Shaun Barlow – Interview

by Jennifer Bradstreet

(Originally published by The NSW Flute Society Blog in October 2012 and published on Flute Tutor Australia at the request of the NSW Flute Society in February 2014)

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Right now, where do you call home?

New York City!!! Increasingly, I’m finding a home in the Big Apple. I also travelled through the US and UK during my Masters research. Getting to know the people and the music in cities like New York and London has just been phenomenal!

 

How has the move from Australia to the US helped your career so far?

Living in New York City is just a whirlwind! I’ve seen and met so many great and iconic musicians here and I seem to have my mind blown by one concert or another at least twice a month.

While moving here has been fabulous, it certainly takes time to get to meet everyone in the music scene, plan gigs and learn where everyone hangs out, but it’s a really exciting process!

The biggest treat has been meeting and playing with other young musicians. There are a lot of people here with a thirst and an energy to do amazing and innovative things, and I love working to be a part of that.

 

Tell us what you’re working on! Take us through a typical week in NYC …

*Practicing as much as possible

*Seeing some phenomenal concerts of new music, jazz combos and classical rep – anything that’s cheap and amazing!

*Working on my jazz playing (learning to really internalise chord progressions) and hanging out at the weekly midnight jam sessions at this great little bar on the Lower East Side where everyone squeezes in really tight and plays 20s and 30s swing tunes.

*Getting stuck into playing in small ensembles, performing new pieces by composer friends. It’s so thrilling to get stuck into learning something new, working together with the composer and the other performers, really trying to get to the heart of a piece in a short period of time. The process of negotiating new musical challenges with other musicians is one of my greatest pleasures.

*For the concerts I’m playing during the next few months, there’s a lot of work planning stuff like fundraising, promotion, finding more venues, players and composers.

*Teaching a few days a week at an early childhood school which involves a heap of singing and dancing and making art projects with little kids. It’s the first time I’ve worked with under 5 year olds before and it’s just so exciting to see how they learn!

 

What sparked this contemporary focus and what do you love most about this music?

I love so much about the sounds and the scene and the history of 20th and 21st century music. There’s so much engagement right now between popular music styles and the classical art music tradition. The lines between jazz, blues, classical music and dance music are so blurry now that it’s just so much fun playing mix and match. Somehow, I’ve always been drawn towards weird stuff. I remember the first time I heard Gavin Bryar’s “Jesus Blood” in my first few weeks as an undergrad at the Sydney Con. I just had this light bulb moment – “You mean doing weird stuff on a recording is a thing that people do?!”

As I progressed through the undergrad program, I was always drawn into the “serious” discussions that the composition students were having about spectralism, serialism, neo-classicism and other “isms”. I really wasn’t sure what it all meant at the time, but I became more and more excited as I slowly began to explore the music behind all these words.

The biggest spark though, has definitely been Alexa Still’s encouragement and amazing knowledge of everything on the spectrum of flute-playing. It is thanks to her that I decided to come to New York for the 2009 NFA Convention and first met Robert Dick, Greg Pattillo, Ian Clarke and countless other phenomenal people.

 

What do you want people to take from your performances and workshops?

That it’s fun to play in the metaphorical mud! I really just want everyone to see that the flute is one of the most versatile instruments ever, and that it’s sounds and roles are so diverse – of course it’s a great melodic instrument but it’s also a rhythm instrument and a polyphonic instrument, too! I also want people to see that it’s really easy to get started with improvisation, beatboxing, extended techniques and extended notation.

 

You’re obviously doing well since finding your niche. What are your long-term plans?

It’s been almost a year since I finished my Masters at the Sydney Con, and living life outside of music school is really, really different! All of a sudden you’ve got so many choices to make and it definitely has its ups and downs – but the freedom to take a different view of things is great

I’d like to further develop my skills that weren’t necessarily the focus of my classical training. I’m also learning to get up and running with some looping and other electronic bits and pieces – the sort of the thing where I can manipulate the sound of the flute through the computer to build textures and grooves on stage.

I’d like to further develop the musical relationships that I’ve begun in the US, fostering long-term collaborations. Travelling has been really fantastic for seeing a lot of different things, but the time has come to try and stay in the one place for a little while…

 

There has been a lot of talk about the “relevance” of the classical music genre. Francis Merson of Limelight magazine recently commented that it is simply “to be enjoyed” (whilst drawing a parallel to the “relevance” of a delicious macaroon)! As a classically trained, not-so-classical musician, what do you think?

It’s a tough subject to get into in a short answer. I’ll comment on the “classical” music that is being written now, (which is a difficult thing to define with a broad brush stroke. There are just so many diverse things being written and the blurring of lines between classical music and popular music has almost made this sort of debate a moot point.

Some of the music being written today is really accessible to a popular audience (and/or able to be enjoyed as a delicious macaroon by a great number of people). Some of it is interesting to a smaller audience.  And, some of it is only interesting to the people writing and playing it.

I don’t think this is a problem at all.

Should we really expect everyone’s musical expression to be a successful commercial venture? Perhaps the aim for everyone (especially those holding the purse strings) should be to foster their own personal musical practice. If everyone played or sang or wrote a little bit of music once a week, just for the pleasure of doing it, unashamedly, then it might become apparent that each piece of music has a different purpose (and relevance) to different people at different times. I often come back to something that Richard Gill said – “Don’t tell me whether you like it or not. Tell me what you hear.”

All articles and reviews published on this website are representative of the opinions of the author/s alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of FTA or it’s affiliates
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Introducing Brijette Tubb

This month Flute Tutor Australia is delighted to feature a wonderful young up and coming Australian Flute player, Brijette Tubb.

Brijette completed her Bachelor of Music (with Distinction) at the University of Southern Queensland, and Bachelor of Music (Honours) in Advanced Flute Performance at the Queensland Conservatorium studying under Australian flautist Karen Lonsdale.   Brijette also holds both an AMusA and LMusA (awarded with Distinction) from the Australian Music Examinations Board [AMEB] and is currently in her second and final year in a Master of Music at the Queensland Conservatorium, studying under both Karen Lonsdale and Gerhard Mallon. In addition to her studies, Brijette is a part-time instrumental teacher (mainly flute) at Nudgee Junior College.

Flute Tutor Australia asked Brijette to share with us a little about her musical journey thus far and what she would like to achieve next….

“I have been really lucky to have had the benefit of a great start to my orchestral career, having performed as principal flute in Queensland’s 2nd Youth Orchestra for 2010 and 2011, as well as in the Queensland Conservatorium Symphony and Chamber Orchestras.  In 2011, I attended the Australian Youth Orchestra National Music Camp and performed as Principal and 2nd Flute in the Alexander Orchestra, as well as being selected for an internship with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.  My main focus has been towards a solo career, and I have been awarded places in open sections in local eisteddfods (including first place in the Brisbane Eisteddfod Open Instrumental Soloist in 2011).  Also in 2011, I attended the Michael Cox Masterclass series in Adelaide as a performer, won the state-wide James Carson Memorial Flute Prize and was a semi-finalist in the Australian Flute Festival Open Flute Competition.  Most recently, on 12 May this year I performed as soloist in the Gordon Jacob ‘Concerto for Flute and Strings’ with the Queensland Conservatorium Chamber Orchestra, and in June, I successfully auditioned for and will be attending one of the few available private lessons with celebrated international flautist Denis Bouriakov in Sydney.

My dream for the future is to continue this combination of everything I love – teaching and hopefully inspiring others, performing as a soloist and as a member of an orchestra, continuing to develop my own skills and being inspired by other remarkable performers and teachers.  I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life; I feel very fortunate to have already had some wonderful opportunities, and wonderful teachers that have helped guide and shape my playing!”  Brijette

 

We strongly encourage you to take some time to listen to Brijette and to connect with her Youtube channel via the links below.  No doubt we will all be hearing much more of Brijette in years to come.

Hue Fantasie (performed by Brijette Tubb)

Brijette’s Youtube Channel Link

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Meet Lamorna Nightingale

Meet Lamorna Nightingale…

An Interview

By Jennifer Bradstreet

(Originally published by The NSW Flute Society Blog in January 2011 and published on Flute Tutor Australia at the request of the NSW Flute Society in February 2014)

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LAMORNA Nightingale’s plan to bring the flute society of NSW into the 21st century is already in progress. The November ‘11 appointed President has been involved with the society for a few years, and is keen for it to continue opening up as an accessible forum for flautists across all levels. She stresses a no snobbery policy, that a student recital is as important as a Sydney Symphony concert.

Building a greater online presence has been a priority, in particular, her creation of the new society website and the launch of a regular e- newsletter (sign up here), facebook page and blog.

Throughout her notable career, Lamorna has witnessed some of the greatest musicians feeling isolated and unsupported at some point. She feels that many musicians struggle to find a practical and creative balance, whether it is to sustain a career or hobby. She insists that the society can offer many benefits to flautists at any stage:

• A network for students, professionals, teachers, music-lovers, entrepreneurs • A forum: discussion online and at events/meetings • Hear about everything going on in the scene from one source • Provide a sense of camaraderie across all levels

• Performing opportunities at events

LAMORNA’S love of music was sparked early on and the same can be said for musical siblings Oliver, Lucie and Chloe. She was born in Sydney, to hard-working musical parents, flautist mother Suzy Miller (nee Powell) and Richard Miller, Timpanist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. She studied with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Piccolo player Jenny Andrews, before attending the Sydney Conservatorium High School, where she describes the one-year-family- overlap as “an interesting experience” – this includes both parents on staff!

After completing a Bachelor of Music in Canberra with Virginia Taylor and Vernon Hill, Lamorna was fortunate to win a job with the Miss Saigon Production in Sydney. She explains, “There was a lot of learning on the job!” You can imagine so – playing eight shows per week on flute, piccolo and four (sometimes temperamental) Asian flutes!

Fifteen months into Miss Saigon, Lamorna decides to commit to formal study once again, gaining her Masters in Performance at the Sydney

Conservatorium of Music under the tutelage of Margaret Crawford and Geoff Collins. Focused on new music, she presents a portfolio of programmes based around Asian influences on Australian flute music, all whilst participating in the Sydney Symphony Sinfonia scheme. She believes she learnt valuable lessons not only about flute playing, but also about how to behave as a young professional.

Despite quickly picking up casual work with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and enjoying a freelance orchestral career over the years, Lamorna has also pursued other projects in fields such as new music, publishing and teaching.

She suggests that her parents’ project choices and work ethic have influenced her own. Her father was a member of Synergy as well as SSO, so new music was an early experience for Lamorna. Her mother Suzy was very active in maintaining a varied freelance playing career and finding gigs – all whilst running a teaching studio and being a mother to four!

In 2007, Lamorna took up the position of flute/piccolo with Ensemble Offspring, Australia’s premiere new music group. See them live on March 30th at the Sydney Opera House Utzon Room.

Teaming up with fellow flautist Christine Draeger in 2009, the pair saw a need for a list of new Australian repertoire, for students and teachers to draw upon for HSC performance. The list of pieces they compiled has been published by Reed Music Publishing, and recorded in collaboration with pianist Jocelyn Edey-Fazzone, on their disc Eat Chocolate and Cry.

Following on from this recording, Lamorna, Christine and Jocelyn launched their publishing business Fluteworthy Publications with three publications released in 2011: Lamorna’s Beginner Flute Book, 99 Solos and Studies for Flute, and Repertoire Book for the Beginner Flautist

Right now… Lamorna is excited for the Flute Society of NSW to be a major focus for her and she looks forward to seeing you at the next event!

 

All articles and reviews published on this website are representative of the opinions of the author/s alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of FTA or it’s affiliates
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Jane Rutter – An Interview

 Jane Rutter

An Australian in Paris

 Fresh from Paris, Jane talks about her love of French culture and her experiences on tour.

She also has advice for aspiring soloists…

By Jennifer Bradstreet

(Originally published by The NSW Flute Society Blog in September 2010 and published on Flute Tutor Australia at the request of the NSW Flute Society in February 2014)

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After so many successful tours, what sparked the idea for the An Australian in Paris tour ?

When I was a student in Paris I used to go to listen to my flute teachers Alain Marion and Jean-Pierre Rampal in some of the beautiful churches in Paris. Flautist Maxence Larrieu- who is also from the Rampal School of flute playing  (he studied with Joseph Rampal “Pere Rampal”) used to give concerts at La Sainte Chapelle. It has to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. The voice of the flute sounds divine in it, and it has been a lifelong dream of mine to play there. When I was invited to give concerts there by the director of Paris National Monuments, I jumped at the chance!

I lived in Paris for three years, so it is like home to me. Also, I share a birthday with Marie Antoinette, so it was eerie and also exciting to be playing French music, and Mozart, in a chapel where she would have worshipped.

 

Tell us about the venue, La Sainte Chapelle. What was it like to play there?

La Sainte Chapelle is made almost entirely of stained glass– it’s an engineering marvel of Gothic construction. When you’re inside it takes your breath away – It was built originally to house the holy relic Christ’s Crown of Thorns, so spiritually it’s an incredibly sacred place. I see music as a kind of spiritual portal. Fine classical music can be viewed as a pangenic “Breath of God”, ahead in language which speaks to all of us on a deep level. I am quite mystical, so it was incredible for me to perform there.

 

What was on the program?

Les Folies d’Espagne – Marais

Syrinx – Debussy

Dans les Ruines – Poulenc

She – Aznavour

Ulpirra – Ross Edwards

La Vie en Rose – Piaf

Berceuse/ Sicilienne – Faure

Incantation – Jolivet

Someone to Watch Over Me – Gershwin

Gigue – Le Claire

Les Chemins de L’amour – Poulenc

Veloce – Bolling

 

And the French audience?

How do the words “standing ovation” sound?!! The performances were very well received. In fact the editor of the foremost flute magazine in France, La Traversiere, rushed up to me after the first performance, and asked if he could do a major article on me. He found it wonderful that I was –through my playing – keeping alive the spirit of my teachers, Alain Marion and Jean-Pierre Rampal. I was very gratified!

 

As an Australian performer with a close connection to Paris, how would you describe its musical landscape?

Rich and exciting – in fact I found it quite difficult to come home amidst the Australian election (not a mention of the Arts from either of the major parties).

I felt artistically nurtured in Paris. The city has 125 theatres! Over many centuries Paris has been home to so many artists, writers and musicians. When there, it is so easy to evoke their spirits.

The day after I arrived in Paris, there was live music being played on every street corner, in every church, in every theatre, everywhere– it is a day they have once a year called “La Fete de La Musique” (The Music Festival). The heritage of the city of Paris in particular is such that people know about classical music, appreciate it, live it, breathe it and support it. In France, classical music is valued as much a sport. I wish it were like that here in Australia…

 

What do you love most about French culture?

I find it very manicured and elegant – while at the same time – being sensual and having a controlled passion. All of these things I love about it. I also find that the French heritage of harmony is particularly pleasing– even French contemporary composers follow a sensual harmonic logic, which does not always occur with composers of other nationalities…

 

How do you prepare for an international tour?

The same way I prepare for any tour. I have a daily ritual of scales, long tones, studies and articulation exercises. This usually takes me one to 2 hours and keeps me in “olympic shape” on the flute. When I’m preparing for a tour, I always play through the entire repertoire of the program in order at least once a day, as well as checking any difficult passages and working on them separately.

For any concert, or exam, I recommend that students play each piece through twice without stopping, also in the order of the program. This way, they become used to the stamina required to perform the program on stage. If daily you are used to twice the “playing load”, it will be more comfortable to perform once the “playing load” under the pressure of stage performance.

I spend time preparing myself physically and mentally in this way. Playing through the program of the tour becomes second nature – as I said, it’s like being an olympic athlete. You want to feel calm and prepared, and to know the pieces mentally and in your body, in order feel completely natural on stage.

 

The best thing about being a flautist?Jane Quote 1

Well there are so many things! Where do I start? First of all I see the flute as a voice, and music as the hidden language of mankind. I believe instruments of the breath are closest to the heart, and – when well played – set up a particular and very special vibration to the listener and the player. It’s a form of magic!

When I’m on stage playing the flute, it’s a chance to be connected on every level spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally.

It’s an enormously lucky chance for me (and also a lot of work) that I can experience this sense of complete connection almost every time I play the flute.

Playing the flute represents to me a complete sense of creative expression. How lucky is that? I happen to believe that complete creative expression is the birthright of every human. This is ultimately my message through music. I have so many people from my Jane Quote 2audiences expressing that they understand this belief through my flute playing. It’s also very gratifying. Fine music can bring out the best in everybody – it’s a reminder of who we are- as inspirational creatures.

 

Tell us more about your ideas on Expression, and describe your musical taste…

My musical taste runs to most types of music – as long as it is expressive, has a narrative, and has a commitment to the four things mentioned above.

But as musicians, we need technique, of course, to be able to speak the language. So if you don’t have all the articulations under your belt, the many beautiful sounds and tones, fast fingers that are well-connected to the sound; then it’s like speaking a language without any verbs or nouns: incomplete.

I always push technical prowess with any students because I want them to be able to fully express themselves. The Rampal school is all about having the technique in order to follow the vocal line of the music. It says, “you need technique so your heart can sing without thinking”. When you have so much technique that you don’t need to think about it any more, (and if you study and have good musical taste), then you are in a position to make really fine music. Then, the magic happens. The audiences want to listen to you. They take home something special. They take home a feeling of belonging.

 

Who are your favourite composers? How do you approach performing their works?

My favourite composers are the French Impressionists, Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven. Oh! Actually my favourite composers?– it’s whichever composer I am playing!

You have to know how to be an analyst–a psychoanalyst, and an actor when you are a musician. You interpret the piece–its character, its weakness is its strengths. You indulge it the way you would indulge a friend. You do this also with the composer. And then you add the spice and the heart of your own personality. It’s really marvelous – a true sense of connection because you are truthfully telling three wonderfully integrated/ blended stories all at the same time: the story of the piece, the story of the composer, and your own. It is that this reason that fine music makes us feel at the same time completely free and completely connected.

 

Your favourite flautists?

Jean-Pierre Rampal, Alain Marion, Emily Beynon, Linda Chesis, Felix Renggle, and of course in Australia:  Janet Webb, Geoffrey Collins, Rosamond Plummer, and many others too… We have such fantastic players in this country!

 

Tips for budding soloists?

Budding soloists should practice their instruments until they don’t know the difference between playing and talking. Then they should get out on stage as much at that as they possibly can. I shocked audiences years ago by performing my cabaret show ” lip service” at the Tilbury Hotel.

I did a season of several weeks – seven shows a week. What I learned in that time as a performer was invaluable. I don’t think there is any situation now on stage that I would not be able to cope with. During that time I became a trooper!

Sometimes as a soloist you are on the road, travelling every day, rehearsing and sound checking at a new venue every day, signing CDs after the show, getting up the next morning for an early flight, squeezing in whatever practice you can manage. Budding soloists should really devote some of their mental energy and physical energy towards this kind of lifestyle. It is very easy to get exhausted, to perhaps not play well, unless you are prepared for this. Perform in front of friends once a week or more. Play in front of your colleagues – form a club of three or four of your colleagues who are at the same level, set a piece and perform it to each other regularly. Tread the boards! Have performing be a natural part of your life. Don’t be precious about where you play.

Also, budding soloists should have more technique than they could ever need –this means a lot of technique! I recommend practising especially all the things that you are not good at. Remember that if you really want to make it as a soloist, every successful flute player in the world is your competition. You can remedy this enormous problem by being the best! You should also create your own niche, tell your own story, be your own player. Everyone has something different to contribute –find your special story and tell it through your instrument. Be creative with your music and your life!

Jane Rutter

What’s next?

I have recorded four albums in the last couple of years, and am still in the process of editing and mastering them. They should be available directly on itunes very soon. If you google “Jane Rutter”, itunes already have several of my albums available for download – some of which you cannot buy in the stores.

I have performances in Europe & Africa coming up. Also, a recording of the Mozart Concerto in G major and some surprise transcriptions for flute, with Maestro Richard Bonynge conducting. We will be recording these in Paris.

I’m performing all over the place, making more recordings, and I hope to be writing more music.

Over the last few years, I have been devising a ballet called Flute Spirit, and I am still working on getting it performed. My partita for solo flute is live on YouTube – it’s about eighth grade level, and will be available in print soon. Dearest to my heart at the moment is my concert–theatre piece An Australian in Paris which will be available on DVD soon, I will be touring for  this in 2011.

I have spent a great deal of time in the last year becoming more present on social networking sites. I believe this is the future for musicians, a new way to find our communities and our audiences. So, I hope people will come and find me on twitter, facebook and at my site: www.JaneRutter.com

All articles and reviews published on this website are representative of the opinions of the author/s alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of FTA or it’s affiliates
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HOW TO PLAY Greg Pattillo Style

 by Shaun Barlow

(Originally published by The NSW Flute Society Blog in September 2010 and published on Flute Tutor Australia at the request of the NSW Flute Society in February 2014)

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By now, almost every flute player has taken a look at a few of Greg Pattillo’s flute-beatbox YouTube clips – should you fall outside of this category, run immediately to the nearest computer and type that name into google! His arrangements of popular tunes, honed whilst busking on the streets and in the subways of New York City have led to an incredible following. Like many young flute players, I was blown away by Pattillo’s playing. I had to try and work out how to make all those crazy noises!

In August 2009 Angus McPherson and I took a trip to New York City for the 2009 National Flute Association Convention. Before this I’d been messing around with a few simple tunes, trying to get some basic beatbox sounds happening. The idea of contacting Greg Pattillo and asking for a lesson had been mentioned here and there for a while – everyone I spoke to, including my teacher Alexa Still, had expressed an enthusiasm.  So all of a sudden, sitting in the hotel room on West 51st, I took a look at Pattillo’s website, sent an email asking if he might have time to meet up whilst we were in town, et voilà – he replied! Gus and I had a lesson!

The lesson kicked off with Greg asking for a show of where each of us were at with beatbox-flute. My first attempt at a beatbox arrangement was upon the theme from Paganini’s Caprice No. 24 in A minor. Pattillo guided us through some of the basic beatbox sounds – /b/ kick or bass drum, /p/ snare, /k/ handclap or rim shot and /t/ hi-hat cymbal. We spent time refining each sound, plenty of spit flying, repeating /b/, /b/, /b/… against the metronome ticking at 60bpm, Greg encouraging and describing what needed to be tweaked to get the sounds sounding super.

We covered a bunch of techniques – inhaled /k/ and /p/, adding /s/, /f/ and /sh/ to the drum sounds, how to string sounds together into grooves and some pretty hip ways of vamping and arranging tunes.

 

Greg Patillo“We finished the two hour

session jamming on the Paganini theme

and a Piazzolla tune”

 

Needless to say, the rest of our stay in NYC was punctuated by beatbox practice whilst walking the streets and plenty of jamming back in the hotel room.

Back in Sydney, with little to do and little income over the summer break, the idea of taking Pattillo’s lead and heading out busking was way more favourable than waiting tables. I began pairing up with other musicians mainly playing jazz standards and improvising our own grooves. People reacted enthusia-stically to the music, often stopping to chat, or to sing along in the case of one homeless guy. The music was great but of course, the cash was pretty thin…

So, how do you get this beatbox thing happening for yourself? Easy!

1.  Go and grab your Moyse “Tone Development Through Interpretation” or any old beginner method. Pick out a simple tune, something consisting mostly of crotchets like “Mary Had a Little Lamb” – this works perfectly.

2.  Take a pencil and write a “b” under the first note in each bar and a “k” under each note that falls on the third beat.

3. Taking everything at a really, really slow tempo, play the tune on the flute, but replace each of the/b/ and /k/ notes with a really strong /b/ as in “boots” and an exaggerated /k/ as in “cats.” Sure, it might be tricky at first, but that’s nothing a bit of slow practice can’t fix.

So you’re thinking, “But my /b/ doesn’t sound like Pattillo’s. How do you get it to sound like a real bass drum?”

Like regular flute playing, beatboxing takes practice and instruction. Luckily, there’s a tonne of instructional material available for free on the internet. The “HumanBeatbox.com” website has a fantastic section called “Learn”, containing written tutorials and videos on almost every imaginable method of spitting and clicking like a drum machine. For a great step-by-step introduction to beatboxing aimed at the complete beginner, type “www.humanbeatbox.com/lessons” into your web browser.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, flute-beatboxing is an open door. There are a couple of really great performers putting their own spin on things. Greg Pattillo, alongside his prolific collection of YouTube videos, has released three albums with his group “Project Trio” (I got my copies from www.cdbaby.com).

Dirko Juchem, a German jazz musician, has produced an album of his solo beatbox-flute performances, it comes with an instructional booklet containing a great deal of info on how he makes it all happen. There’s even a few songsheets in there. For more info, see: www.myspace.com/flutelounge

A few other noteworthy players to check out on YouTube are Nathan “Flutebox” Lee and Tim Barsky. Watching some of the thousands of videos on YouTube of beatbox performances quickly broadens one’s conception of what might be possible on flute.

Guys like Rahzel and Roxorloops provide some pretty amazing examples of how to pack a lot of sounds into a bar, appearing to barely ever stop for breath!

Many beatbox websites feature free tutorial and “how to” articles. These provide a great way of expanding one’s vocabulary of beatbox sounds.  Some lend themselves really well to flute whilst others may not immediately appear to work at all. There’s always something to be learnt whilst undergoing a new bit of vocal gymnastics, though. For example, try the “click roll” technique described at humanbeatbox.com (typing “Click roll” into the search box on the humanbeatbox.com homepage should lead you there pretty swiftly). Whilst it doesn’t resonate as well as a good, loud /k/, if you cover the tone hole with your lips and perform a click roll into the flute there’s some interesting possibilities for resembling a creaky door or some weird creature from Jurassic Park.

It’s early days for beatbox-flute yet. Give it a go and see what crazy new sound you’ve got up your sleeve!

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About the author

Shaun BarlowShaun Barlow is a professional flute player based in Sydney. He specialises in contemporary music, flute beatboxing, collaborating with composers and exploring the vast cacophony of sounds available to the flute player. Shaun is studying with Dr Alexa Still at the Sydney Conservatorium, completing a Masters of Music (Performance). His current research is a study of the development, notation and practice of flute beatboxing.

For upcoming concerts, workshops and free music downloads, check out:

www.shaunbarlow.com

 

All articles and reviews published on this website are representative of the opinions of the author/s alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of FTA or it’s affiliates
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Linda Vogt AM – An Interview

 Linda Vogt AM

28 September 1922 –

THE recent world premiere performance of Three Pictures for Linda for flute ensemble was commissioned, written and performed in honour of Linda Vogt. Here, we take a look over a lifetime of musical contribution and the birth of The Flute Society of NSW.

By Jennifer Bradstreet (September 2010)

(Originally published by The NSW Flute Society Blog in September 2010 and published on Flute Tutor Australia at the request of the NSW Flute Society in February 2014)

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When Linda Vogt was nominated as an extra for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at age 18, she started out on a path that would lead her to become the second female woodwind player in any Australian symphony orchestra, and later a Member of the Order of Australia for her contribution to music.

Born into a musical family in Melbourne, Vogt developed an early appreciation for classical music. “We had a piano, music was always playing in the home where I grew up… my family had access to an old Rudall Carte 1867 system wooden flute and it all started from there,” she says. Joining the Preston Girls High School Orchestra, she enjoyed ensemble playing from a young age. Her school orchestra director Mr Wilke contacted the Melbourne Symphony’s then second flute player Leslie Barklamb to assist Vogt with fingerings on her old Rudall Caret model flute, which led to an ongoing teaching arrangement.

Encouraged by her family to pursue a suitable office job, Vogt began working as a typist in 1938, earning 35 shillings a week and continuing lessons with Barklamb. Once becoming an extra flute for the MSO in 1940 – despite never having studied at a conservatorium – her office colleagues were impressed, often supporting her at performances. “They took an interest in my flute playing, coming along to the symphony concerts,” Vogt remembers. Her enthusiasm and ability as a flute player grew as she worked alongside Barklamb and other flute greats. On the orchestra’s then principal flute Richard Chugg, she remarks on his French style of playing, “Dick was playing with vibrato… I wanted to sound like that!”

Only two years later, Vogt was invited by Professor Bernard Heinz to join the ABC Sydney Studio Orchestra, which later became the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. In 1942, she became the second female woodwind player in any Australian symphony orchestra, after Constance Pether who was appointed principal flute in the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in 1936.

In Sydney, she faced the challenge of changing flute systems on the job – from a Rudall Carte 1867 to a Boehm model. Vogt puts it simply, “I’m a survivor, I’ve always been a head down kind of person.” She performed piccolo parts in the orchestra despite having never held a piccolo until the day she boarded the train to Sydney, “Leslie Barklamb lent me his piccolo, I remember him handing it to me through the train window!” Not only a survivor, but also one of the only flautists who can speak from personal experience about such a challenge.

While holding her position with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for 10 years, she played alongside principal flute Bert Anderson and later Neville Amadio, participating in concerts and live broadcasts almost every week. In 1942, Vogt was one of 45 players in the orchestra. Only 12 were women. Within three years, the orchestra almost doubled, comprising of 82 players by 1945.

It was through also music that Vogt found friendship and marriage. A close friendship with SSO third flute and piccolo player Colin Evans, led to their marriage in 1952, and the birth of their two children Deirdre and Peter.

After a short period away from the orchestra to enjoy motherhood, Vogt swung back into the music world already well respected in the orchestral context. She was determined to explore creative projects again, eventually gaining recognition as a soloist for Musica Viva and the ABC. As an accomplished chamber musician, she performed in groups with Don Andrews, Carl Pini and Robert Pikler.

Making many friends along the way, Vogt crossed the divide from classical, to music for film and television, to jazz.  She participated in many film recordings, and played in backing groups for various performers and television commercials before the time synthesizers were allowed into Australia by the Musician’s Union. In 1958, she joined the Charlie Munro Jazz Quintet. Initially, the multi-instrumentalist band members approached Vogt for help with their flute tone production and embouchure technique. However, she ended up playing and recording with them for six months and having the time of her life. She quickly built up a good reputation as a jazz flautist. “I’d never played jazz before… I made them write out my solos to start with… I was nicknamed hot lips!” she laughs. “It was such great fun… I have enjoyed jazz ever since.”

In 1966, the great French virtuoso Jean-Pierre Rampal travelled to Sydney to give the first ever Sydney masterclass. Held at the NSW Conservatorium of Music, the event was co-ordinated by Nicola Snekker. Strangely, the event did not attract many performers. This prompted Vogt to initiate a group of professionals to meet regularly in a masterclass setting.

The Flute Night was born – a monthly get-together in private homes. “A work was set for study, anybody could perform and mistakes were accepted. It was great fun… performances were followed by cups of tea and lots of chat,” recalls Deirdre Greatorex (Hall). The Sydney flute scene flourished. “There was a great sense of camaraderie,” says Vogt. As a result, friendships were formed. “When I was fifteen it was my privilege to receive my first flute lesson from Linda. She has been one of my dearest friends ever since,” says Greatorex.

Fittingly, Vogt’s career took an educational focus between 1969 and 1970, when she took up teaching positions at the Canberra School of Music, ABC Training Orchestra, Pan Pacific Music Camps and The University of NSW Music Department.

Continuing to demonstrate a commitment to excellence in her own flute playing, in 1973 she became Associate Principal Flute with the Sydney Opera House Opera and Ballet Orchestra, which later became the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. She enjoyed two years with the orchestra, playing alongside best friend Greatorex.

Meanwhile, the success of The Flute Night continued and prompted Vogt to convert the group into an official society, The Sydney Flute Society, in 1973.

Now eligible for an Australia Council grant to fund their next big event, Vogt began organising a fully funded three-month residency for the distinguished American flute player James Pellerite at the NSW Conservatorium of Music.

With Vogt as Executive Director, the 1973 National Flute Seminar took place: the first flute convention held anywhere in the world. Featuring a series of recitals, masterclasses and lectures, the convention was a huge success. The national convention movement was born – Vogt had begun to shape a bright future for flute playing across Australia, connecting flute players in Australia with the rest of the world and vice versa.

In his article, Linda Vogt, Australia’s Great Lady of the Flute, Pellerite describes Vogt as not only a friend, but a pioneer of the flute. “Her playing has elegance, charm and conviction… (she was) not only receptive to the ideas expressed by foreign flutists… but equally anxious for the opportunity to learn from other musicians as well.”

Despite her reputation and prestigious teaching posts, Vogt did not limit herself to advanced students. She enjoyed teaching flautists of all levels and ages. “She gave confidence by building up, not bringing down,” says Greatorex.

A firm believer in Alexander Technique, Vogt’s breathing philosophies became well known. Greatorex recalls Vogt’s words: “playing the notes is a technical achievement, but it is the shaping of the phrase and the energy imparted to those notes that makes the musician”.

As a result of the national convention movement, illustrious flautists from all over Australia travelled to Adelaide in 1976 to compete in the first National Flute Competition. The Australian Flute Association was formed in 1981, for which Vogt was instrumental, and by 1983 the fifth Australian Flute Convention had taken place at the NSW Conservatorium, with Vogt as Executive Director once again.

In support of the growing national flute movement, Vogt became founder and director of the educational and classical sheet music company Zephyr Music in 1976, making classical sheet music easily accessible. Currently, Zephyr is still Sydney’s leading supplier of classical music, now under the direction of Vogt’s two children, Peter and Deirdre (named after Greatorex).

In a simultaneous effort to reach out, Vogt also looked to expand The Sydney Flute Society, officially renaming it The Flute Society of NSW in 1984. The Flute magazine was launched in 1983 with Vogt as editor – but it was only with the support of a bigger society of 600 members one year later – that the magazine became available in a glossy format, bringing flute news across the whole of NSW.

But Vogt had yet another pursuit in the pipeline. Over the years, she documented a legacy of flute playing in Australia: A database of flute memorabilia and a collection of valuable flutes including those of distinguished players of her era. This invaluable historical resource is now in the hands of curator Michael Lea at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum, for preservation and display. Appointments can be arranged.

On how she managed it all, Vogt insists it was a sense of camaraderie that kept her going. “It’s impossible to name all the wonderful flautists who have supported the flute movement throughout Australia since 1966 – there were many generous workers who provided the structure for others to enjoy. However, the strength of the movement was in the amazing coming together of so many flautists. Not only did it create enormous pleasure, but I believe it was a movement which raised the expertise and standard of flute playing for all of us!”

On Australia Day, January 26th 1989, Vogt was appointed a Member of The Order of Australia in recognition of her contribution to Music.

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After detailing her entire musical story over many laughs and cups of coffee, Vogt reflects, “I’ve met so many wonderful people along the way. I’ve had a good life.”

On 24th July, 2010 – still very much full of life – she travelled from her Blue Mountains home to be guest of honour at the sold-out world premiere performance of Constantine Koukias’ Three Pictures for Linda.

Held at the Sydney Conservatorium Verbrugghen Hall, the work for flute ensemble was performed by an elite group comprising the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra flute sections and other distinguished players. Commissioned by The Flute Society of NSW, Three Pictures for Linda acknowledges Linda Vogt’s lifetime of contribution to the flourishing flute landscape of Australia.

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Tributes

for 

LINDA VOGT2010

I believe Linda has been the greatest influence on the ‘coming of age’ of flute playing in Australia of any teacher or performer; in fact her influence has reached far beyond Australia.

The original Sydney Flute Society, formed by Linda, was the first of its kind in the world – its formation was a germinal event.

But Linda’s nurturing of the flute and its players goes further than meets the eye. Not just in the public arena, but also in private and unsung ways. My own experience vouches for this. In the early 1960s, as a flute student at the Melbourne Conservatorium, I recorded some music for an ABC broadcast. Shortly afterwards, to my surprise and delight, I received, from a stranger in Sydney, a letter in the post with warm words of encouragement and appreciation. It was from Linda Vogt, a person I had never met. What an utterly rare and thoughtful thing to do!

So I am most happy to send an expression of my own appreciation and gratitude to this great lady. What we all owe her is incalculable.”

Margaret Crawford

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“Congratulations Linda!

You are such a wonderful example to us as a flautist, teacher, generous person and female role model. I have appreciated your support and generosity over the years.

You have enriched the lives and experiences of professionals, students and amateur flautists alike for so many years.  We thank you.”

Janet Webb

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“Linda Vogt’s legacy to flute playing and music reaches far and wide. Those who have known Linda as a performer, teacher and colleague, are touched by her integrity and example. Apart from Linda’s generosity in sharing her vast expertise, she embraces new ideas and challenges in music and life.

Linda, you’re an inspiration!  Thank you and congratulations on a much deserved tribute.”

James Kortum

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“LINDA has been an inspiration across several generations of Australian flute players. Her fine playing, innovative teaching and ongoing mentoring have really progressed flute playing in this country – in a quite remarkable and distinctive way.

Her keen enquiring intellect, combined with an indomitable drive to make things happen no matter how many obstacles present themselves – these are very special qualities that have profoundly influenced and motivated so many flute players at all levels.

From all of us to you – thank you Linda. May you continue to keep doing all of these special things that we love and admire you so much for.”

Geoffrey Collins

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“When I was fifteen it was my privilege to receive my first flute lessons from Linda.

She has been one of my dearest friends ever since.”

Deirdre Greatorex (Hall)

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“LINDA was one of the really noted teachers during the period of my student days… she took a great interest in all of us. I remember well going to her for several breathing lessons, one of her speciality areas, in which we were lying on the floor undertaking some extraordinary moves – all to the greater goal of conquering the instrument. Linda was an enormous inspiration to us, showing such dynamism, enthusiasm & leadership, particularly within the flute society.”

Jocelyn Fazzone

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“I HAVE KNOWN LINDA since 1968 when I first moved from Melbourne to Sydney to play in the ABC Training Orchestra. I was struck by her remarkable sense of style, her enthusiasm and her dedication to the flute in Australia in all its genres. Linda has been a great teacher, player and role-model to me and no doubt countless other Australian flute players, but of particular significance was her initiative to start the first Australian Flute Convention in 1973, a world first.

This had the effect of profoundly changing flute playing and teaching in Australia, and accelerated the greater process of Australia connecting to the world and the world becoming aware of Australia.

The dedicated work by Constantine Koukias to Linda is a fitting tribute to a lifetime of outstanding contribution and I will be forever thankful and grateful.”

David Leviston

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