A few thoughts about Zion, and flute festivals in general ….. 960 miles and 7 days later, I have a couple of observations. Notwithstanding the fact that THE day to sell flutes … Saturday, was rained out, I met and hung out with the most talented builders and performers in the world. I managed to sell a couple of flutes during the 16 hours I was set up to sell flutes, but in conversations with a good number of the 25 builders in attendance, There was a prevailing theme. Most of the flutes being sold, were the least expensive available for sale, and the reason is that most of the attendees were novice/first time flute buyers. This was made evident by the timidity in the testing/playing done by those in attendance, and I don’t blame them one bit for picking instruments that may end up as a chew toy for the dog if the buyer loses interest.
……….. I’ve tried on no less than 25 flutes, to create a basic flute, and I can’t do it. When I get to what looks and sounds like a basic NAF …. It’s about 50% completed, because that’s when the creative fun starts. A lot of flutemakers rely on flute sales to put food on the table for their families. They are consequently compelled to build instruments that appeal to the widest spectrum of potential buyers. I build flutes as a personal cathartic adventure, best defined by “Querencia”, and involving a process that is totally selfish. The effort has its drawbacks. I have had to learn far more about gemstones and exotic/rare/bizarre woods, than I ever wanted to. My pricing is straightforward, based on time and materials, and working out to about $6.00 to $7.00 an hour. The hardwoods/rosewoods are my favorite, but they don’t EVER want to become flutes, and are therefore generally more expensive. ….. Overall then, ….the beauty of Zion is beyond words, at least in English,…….. building a basic flute feels too much like work,…. and I want the next flute festival to be held in my front yard…..So there ya have it. A few thoughts, and a little glimpse inside at the workings of the monster conglomerate that is Querencia Woodwinds.
………… At the conclusion of the festival, some of the builders were packing up not to head to the comfort of their homes, but to drive to yet another state, and repeat this process once again. For them, I ask for God’s blessing and protection on their journey.