Play a Lot.
This blog is all about my road towards owning an amazing flute made by the master craftsmen that are Patrick and Aaron Olwell.
I've a six key blackwood flute ordered - due October 2019.
Right now I don't deserve the sad but much loved flute I bought in '92.
This blog, diary, confessional is the story of my rocky road to deserving to play - ok not deserving but perhaps not being laughed at for thinking I deserve to play - that Olwell flute in 2019.
What or where is Massie's Mill?
It's the place where Patrick and Aaron Olwell, flute makers live. Virginia, USA.
When do you plan to get the 6-key Olwell?
I have it ordered 3 years ago. I'm now about half way in (writing this Oct '16). It should be done for my 50th in October 2016.
Why a flute?
In some ways the flute is not the point. If I buy a flute when I'm 50 but can't play a note I'll only have a flute. The ability to play the flute .. of being part of that environment is the real point. The flute is just a line in the sand to aim towards.
Why an Olwell?
It's a really beautiful instrument. I hope to play it for the rest of my life and give it to someone who can enjoy it when I've no longer the breath to play it .. hopefully they can then play it to me to entertain me.
Why a blog?
Worthwhile things take discipline - discipline over time.
It's easy to do a difficult thing once or twice.
But to pick up instrument and repeat monotonous embouchure or ornamentation exercises after a hard day at work over days, weeks, months and years requires routine. Routine comes from giving yourself the right setting. The blog is both a diary of the journey to that new setting/environment and a little bit of support (reflective journaling) along the journey.
Don't you have that environment already?
I'm not from a very musical family. No one in my family plays or goes to sessions. I'm living in Kildare, Ireland but I'm not in a place where I go to or listen to a lot of Irish Music.
What is this Road or Journey all about?
From my current place to an environment where I listen a lot, play a lot - just have that environment around me. I suppose ultimately I want to play a decent tune - for myself - get that feeling of knocking out a really decent tune but I also want the community of playing/music.
How long have you played?
I started about 1991/2 but it was a bit like wanting to be sub aqua diver in central Africa - I had nothing around me that sustained it. Was working. Had kids etc.
If you wanted to keep playing you could have - isn't that an excuse?
Wow - this is a harsh FAQ. Yes - it's an excuse. But I only played the flute .. just practice. I neglected the wider eco-system. I didn't get involved with sessions, other musicians etc. So ultimately other things - life - took over.
But hang on didn't Neal Peterson overcome a childhood physical disability, poverty, Apartheid to a become a solo yacht racer ... that's a lot harder than playing an auld flute?
I recon becoming a world solo yacht racer after being born with a physical disability in poverty in Apartheid is harder than playing "Ship In Full Sail" .. I'll give you that.
But maybe I'm Neil not Neal and a little support doesn't hurt.
I've met Neal at a MySQL conference in Orlando by the way. Lovely guy. Great speaker.
So what's different now?
I'm recognising that ordering a diet coke doesn't make you thin. You have to make many life choices to get a habit to root. I'm making all those changes.
What is the air velocity of an unladen swallow?
You mean that the FAQ has gone on long enough? Fair point!