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#1 2005-11-06 18:48:18

JeffMartindale
Member
From: Fayetteville, Arkansas
Registered: 2005-10-15
Posts: 40
Website

Anasazi Flute

I thought I would inform everyone of an old flute that is the best of both worlds between the Native American flute and the Shakuhachi. The Anasazi Indians developed a flute hundreds of years before that must have been decended from Egypt like the flute which is related to the shakuhachi. The embrochure of the original Anasazi flute was actually more difficult to master than the current utaguchi on the modern shakuhachi. Michael Graham Allen, also known as Coyote Oldman, has brought the Anasazi flute back to life and has recently made some improvements in the flute. He used instruments from museums and the collection of Dr. Richard Payne to measure and recreate the scale of the original instrument. He has preserved the original scaling with 6 holes. His instrument can reach into the 3rd and 4th octave with practice. He adapted the blowing edge with a Shakuhachi style end so to ease playing on the instrument. For all of you who already play shakuhachi, this instrument is a unique way to play another ancient instrument that has been reborn. The Anasazi flute is amazing to hear due to it's unique scaling and fluid ability to play between registers. While older than the modern day Native American flute, it is much more complex of an instrument. To read more, you can go to Coyote Oldman's website at www.coyoteoldman.com      I will be picking up an instrument next week when I meet with him at a retreat that I will help instruct.   All the best,  Jeff

Last edited by JeffMartindale (2005-11-06 18:49:08)


"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
        Mark Twain

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#2 2005-11-29 21:35:31

waryr
Member
From: Leesburg Florida
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 70

Re: Anasazi Flute

The Anasazi flute is INDEED an amazing instrument. I have several, though none of Michael's. All of mine have the original rim without the "shakuhachi" alteration. These flutes are, as Michael so eloquently states, "hard as Hell to learn, but worth it."  Mine are of "urban elderwood" (pvc) and several of timber bamboo. I spent three days with Michael Graham Allen last April at Musical Echoes in Fort Walton Beach Florida, and fell totally in love with not only the Anasazi, but the Hopi flute as well. The Hopi flute is the same scale as the Anasazi, but has only five holes and is a little smaller. Both have the fluidity mentioned between the octaves.

Up for a challenge???? Try this rim blown flute.


If you understand, things are just as they are, if you don't understand, things are just as they are.

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#3 2005-12-04 21:57:25

Yu-Jin
Member
From: San Diego
Registered: 2005-11-30
Posts: 108

Re: Anasazi Flute

Very interesting!
Does this flute look like Nay? Is there any difference (besides fingering, perhaps)?

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#4 2005-12-06 17:56:49

JeffMartindale
Member
From: Fayetteville, Arkansas
Registered: 2005-10-15
Posts: 40
Website

Re: Anasazi Flute

Hello to all. Sorry to not have replied back to this post. I recently met with Michael and purchased one of his Anasazi flutes. They are wonderful. The scale can actually accomodate some blues related licks. His Anasazi flutes are quality . I found that I can incoporate some Shakuhachi style playing with the instrument (e.g., meri and keri) due to the design of its mouthpiece. I am not as familiar with the Nay, so hard to compare the Anasazi flute to it. The volume on the Anasazi is relatively good but not as powerful as the Shakuhachi. I would describe the Anasazi flute as delicate with bite when needed in regards to sound. The delicacy of the sound is very apparent when miked with reverb. I find it easy to transition into the 3rd octave and fourth with some practice. Michael is also incorporating some very unusual painting designs into these flutes. The painting is actually a form or inlaying paint into the cedar wood. I am currently cutting a track for use in my new album with this flute. Thanks for all the replies to the post. Jeff


"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
        Mark Twain

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#5 2006-07-14 03:34:30

Peter Phippen
Member
Registered: 2005-10-18
Posts: 11

Re: Anasazi Flute

Hi All,

I have played Anasazi flute since 1993 when I was gifted a crude one at Parson's Indian trading post in Wisconsin Dells. I have spent much time with Michael Allen, Dr. Richard Payne, Robert Gatliff www.flutetree.com and Maurice Bigham, playing and talking about this wonderful flute.

To me, it is somewhat of a cross between a Nay, Kaval and a Shakuhachi. Depending on how you play decide to play it. Oblique embochure works, or straight on as well.

I have several tweeked and un-tweeked Anasazi and Hopi flutes in different keys. They are much harder to play than Shakuhachi. Like the Shakuhachi they demand a great deal of personal time.

However, when I play one in performance the folks listening have eyes that look like a deer's eyes in the headlights of a car.

Not because I'm that great a player, but because if you put the time into these primitive instruments the tone is unlike anything I have ever heard. Smooth and gentle if you go in that direction. But there are also many different sounds to choose from, depending on what embouchure you choose to use and how much air you want to put through the flute. I would not call it a loud flute by Shauhachi standards.

When I'm really dialed in on this type of flute I can get into the 4th register very easy, even into the 5th register on what would be considered a "Ro" for a Shakuhachi. Now these 4th register notes are not all over the flute, only in certain spots, but when you find where they are and remember how to get to them and then get out of them, wow!

I have a CD coming out Aug 1st that has two cuts with Anasazi flute. I did not use the full range of the instrument as I'm told the market I'm shooting for does not like "high notes", but I took the instrument well up into the top of the second register anyway.

One has to love cross fingerings with this instrument, Head tilts and side to side pitch bending work very well on on these flutes.

The cool factor for me is no one knows how they were played or what sound was sought after,
and for a non-traditional player such as myself, there are no culture police.

One of the last things Dr. Richard Payne told me before his passing two years ago was:
"This Hopi flute thrills the hell out of me".

Doc Payne was the most remarkable man I have ever known.

Thanks for reading my post, I wish you all well.
Peter Phippen

Last edited by Peter Phippen (2006-07-14 03:38:07)

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#6 2006-07-14 12:59:45

geni
Performer & Teacher
From: Boston MA
Registered: 2005-12-21
Posts: 830
Website

Re: Anasazi Flute

hey Peter
Welcome to the forum.

Anasazi flute sounds interesting. Do they come in diferet keys? Its so wich one is most used?
I checked the website, it listed only one Key (G# I think)

Geni

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#7 2006-07-14 14:24:48

Peter Phippen
Member
Registered: 2005-10-18
Posts: 11

Re: Anasazi Flute

Hi Geni,

I have Low F#, low G, low G# low A and Low B (Hopi) I also have un -tweeked ones ( no embouchure cut) that hang around Low B, Bb and Low G.

The one that seems to be the "modern standard" is low G# (Anasazi) or low B (Hopi) If you have small hands go with the Hopi.

Coyote Oldman makes the ones you want if you are thinking about buying one. You can find his website at: www.worldflutes.org

Hope this is of some help,
Peter



geni wrote:

hey Peter
Welcome to the forum.

Anasazi flute sounds interesting. Do they come in diferet keys? Its so wich one is most used?
I checked the website, it listed only one Key (G# I think)

Geni

Last edited by Peter Phippen (2006-07-14 14:25:25)

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#8 2006-07-14 15:22:53

Medit8b1
Member
From: N. Waterboro, ME
Registered: 2006-06-23
Posts: 18
Website

Re: Anasazi Flute

I too have played one of Michael's (Coyote Oldmans) Anasazi flutes, they are very beautiful and very well made (if a bit pricy, although compared to Shakuhachi prices, just a drop in the bucket), and just as hard to play as described.

Peter, do you own or have you ever played an Andes bass flute known as the Moseno? If so, do you know where one could obtain a nice, well made one? The Mosenos available via the usual World instrument internet suppliers seem to be mass produced "tourist" type instruments.

Thanks!

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#9 2006-07-15 06:07:10

Peter Phippen
Member
Registered: 2005-10-18
Posts: 11

Re: Anasazi Flute

dear medit81B,

Yes I do, Andy's Music in Chicago have pro mocenio in stock.

The flute guy there, Ted Ceplina is in France at the moment, I think he told me he had two or three 6 hole ones.

And yes, I own a nice plain bamboo mocenio, mine is a 5 hole. The ones at Andys's music will be better than mine.

Never buy one that has stuff carved on it or is painted as those are tourist items, (no matter what the size)

I should get one from Andy's Music, but I'm saving to buy another Shakuhachi from Ken and to have an antique 1.8 fixed up by Ken.

all good to you,
Peter Phippen

Medit8b1 wrote:

I too have played one of Michael's (Coyote Oldmans) Anasazi flutes, they are very beautiful and very well made (if a bit pricy, although compared to Shakuhachi prices, just a drop in the bucket), and just as hard to play as described.

Peter, do you own or have you ever played an Andes bass flute known as the Moseno? If so, do you know where one could obtain a nice, well made one? The Mosenos available via the usual World instrument internet suppliers seem to be mass produced "tourist" type instruments.

Thanks!

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#10 2006-07-15 15:39:16

bluespiderweb
Member
From: Southeastern PA USA
Registered: 2005-10-31
Posts: 66

Re: Anasazi Flute

Peter, thank you for posting your thoughts about these here!  You have answered most of my questions I had about these since hearing about them.  Would you care to add your post on The Native American Flute Forum?  Stop by and say hello, we could use your imput, and I'm sure people would like a connection to your music there too!

I found this post by Jeff here after I had run across these on Scott August's website,

http://cedarmesa.blogspot.com/2005/10/n … asazi.html

... which I commented about on The Chiff and Fipple NAF fourum here:

http://www.chiffandfipple.com/naf/viewt … d8a581855c

And then, I went to Coyote Oldman's website to find out more, and posted another query on The Chiff NAF forum here:

http://www.chiffandfipple.com/naf/viewt … d8a581855c

I never did get an answer back from Michael (Coyote Oldman) about them, so I should probably send another email.  The Hopi sounds good to me, for the price, and I happen to like Low B for a key anyway.

Thanks again, Jeff, and Peter, et al!

Last edited by bluespiderweb (2007-09-03 18:39:20)


Be well,  Barry

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#11 2006-07-22 12:26:28

bluespiderweb
Member
From: Southeastern PA USA
Registered: 2005-10-31
Posts: 66

Re: Anasazi Flute

I ended up calling Michael, and found that he had just moved, and was in the process of setting up his shop again.  I asked about the Hopi flute of his, mainly because I like Low B, and I also like the 5 hole flutes.

Michael also said he may be offering a student model Anasazi flute soon, and closer in price to the Hopi flute, but with 6 holes, like the higher priced Anasazi flute.

So, good things to come, no doubt!

Last edited by bluespiderweb (2006-07-24 18:09:21)


Be well,  Barry

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#12 2006-10-22 02:03:53

Crazyquilt
Member
From: Athens, OH
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 1
Website

Re: Anasazi Flute

Might as well jump in here for my first post.

I first heard about the Anasazi flutes on a NAF listserv some years ago, right after I finally took the plunge & started learning shakuhachi. I got one about a year ago, give or take. As stated, I find it much harder to play than shakuhachi. In part, it's because I'm used to a shakuhachi embouchure, so transitioning to the Anasazi is somewhat counterintuitive. However, I would also submit that the Anasazi flute didn't/hasn't gone through the types of development, in terms of acoustics/playability that the shakuhachi has; it's a more 'primitive' flute. I do not mean that in any sort of a pejorative way.

I'm still sussing out the scale; I should sit & actually try & transcribe it, but I can be lazy. If anyone knows the scale for MGA's Anasazi flute, I'd certainly appreciate it.

There are some similarities to a nay, but the rim is subtly notched, like a shakuhachi & unlike a ney.

Peter -- how have you tweaked your Anasazi flutes? Inquiring minds want to know.


"Your life is your practice."  -- Maezumi Roshi

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#13 2006-10-22 11:00:04

bluespiderweb
Member
From: Southeastern PA USA
Registered: 2005-10-31
Posts: 66

Re: Anasazi Flute

You can find the scale and more info here:

http://cedarmesa.blogspot.com/2005/10/n … asazi.html


Be well,  Barry

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#14 2007-02-19 22:49:09

D.J.
Member
From: Seattle
Registered: 2007-01-29
Posts: 63

Re: Anasazi Flute

I just checked with Michael Graham Allen about his Anasazi flute ($240). As I have now read this, it being a terribly hard flute to play, apparently worse difficulty than the Shakuhachi, I am rather unsure I want to go in that direction as I am already working with three different wind instruments. I have a Kena which I never touch now ( that would be a 4th instrument). It took me awhile to get that one down but it is workable. is the Anasazi worse?

If I have to battle it just to lose the embouchure of the Shakuhachi, I am not sure I am willing to do it!

D.J.

Last edited by D.J. (2007-02-19 22:50:14)


"Manifest great deeds by breaking the rules."
Awa Kenzo - Zen Archery Master
"If you think that you are a teacher, then you have failed to realize that learning comes from the student."
Kiko Aratsu

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#15 2007-02-19 23:28:10

philipgelb
Chef, musician, teacher
From: Oakland, California
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 135
Website

Re: Anasazi Flute

What is this 5 holed hopi flute you are bringing up? Very curious!

How old are the anasazi flutes found in archaeological sites? What is the scale of these flutes? (not the ones currently being made).
and i am curious for the same information regarding the hopi flutes!

I new student of mine brought over 2 anasazi flutes last week and it was the first time i ever saw one or had a chance to play it. Beautiful mellow tone! But it was tuned to a diatonic scale in equal temperament so i could not imagine it was all that traditional of an instrument smile

Are the mouthpieces of the truly ancient anasazi and hopi flutes similiar to the ney or the shakuhachi?

Obviously i know little about these flutes and am only recently becoming aware of them thus i am quite curious about how old they are, how they are tuned and how, if any knowledge is available were they used and in what context.

a 5 hole end blown flute among the hopi really got my ears curious...

phil


Philip Gelb
shakuhachi player, teacher & vegetarian chef
Oakland, CA
http://philipgelb.com  http://myspace.com/philipgelb, http://myspace.com/inthemoodforfood

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#16 2007-02-20 02:44:21

D.J.
Member
From: Seattle
Registered: 2007-01-29
Posts: 63

Re: Anasazi Flute

According to Michael Graham Allen , the flutes found are 1,200 years old.

I used to spend a lot of time researching ancient societies. The Hopi/Anasazi have some curious background. It is not a secret that tribes worldwide traveled far more than scientist like to admit considering there are Mayan structures in Pakistan. The Hopi throw a rabbit stick for hunting, otherwise known as a boomerang. The Hopi believe that they are the surviving Anasazi. Their prophecies have some distinct similarities to the Quiche' Maya. And it is interesting to find that the burial methods of the Maya are very similar to the D'Lakota.

So the flute never surprised me at all.


D.J.

Last edited by D.J. (2007-03-09 07:23:54)


"Manifest great deeds by breaking the rules."
Awa Kenzo - Zen Archery Master
"If you think that you are a teacher, then you have failed to realize that learning comes from the student."
Kiko Aratsu

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#17 2007-04-11 12:49:01

Lorka
Member
Registered: 2007-02-27
Posts: 303

Re: Anasazi Flute

Sorry to be talking about a non-shakuhachi flute, but I am curious about this Anasazi flute.  I have read up on the coyote oldman website, and the instrument looks interesting.  I see it has what looks like an utaguchi, but less sharp than a shakuhachi.   How does this instrument sound and play compared to the shakuhachi?  Is it harder, or on par, in terms of difficulty, as I hear conflicting things.  Would playing the shakuhachi benefit the playing of the Anasazi, and vice versa.  I notice that that it has no back hole, and that the regular holes are quite small looking.  Does this have an effect?  Just curious.


Gravity is the root of grace

~ Lao Tzu~

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#18 2007-04-11 13:21:23

Rick McDaniel
Member
Registered: 2007-01-08
Posts: 29

Re: Anasazi Flute

The Coyote Oldman flute is about as difficult as the shakuhachi, but has lower volume, and is even harder to maintain a good embouchure. It does have a very pleasing tone. The mouthpiece is a derivitive of a natural shakuhachi utaguchi (Michael once made Shakuhachi), as an easier to play version, than the original plain rim Anasazi flutes.

My observation of Native flute players, is that the Anasazi and shakuhachi skills are mutually enhanced. In other words, playing one, makes the other easier.

There are some other makers working on versions of the Anasazi, but they aren't as readily available as Coyote Oldman's. My personal preference is one made by Maurice Bigham, in Texas, but I haven't been able to get one, as he is a hobbiest maker and flute researcher.  Maurice's is faithful in design, to the old flutes. Amos of the Fallen Branch Tribe, had one last summer, as a prototype, that was notched a little like a quena, which would play into the 3rd octave, with good volume. I played it for him, as he wasn't yet able to play it well. I liked it quite a bit, but made some suggestions on the mouthpiece design.

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#19 2007-04-11 17:00:34

Lorka
Member
Registered: 2007-02-27
Posts: 303

Re: Anasazi Flute

thanks for the info rick.  It sounds like a very interesting companion to the shakuhachi


Gravity is the root of grace

~ Lao Tzu~

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#20 2007-06-08 17:03:56

Harazda
Member
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 126

Re: Anasazi Flute

I have two Anasazi flutes and one Hopi flute.  I was fortunate enough to have MGA move just about 30 minutes from where I live on Florida's central East coast.  He's moved again now, but I had a brief connection and was able to just go to his workshop, look 'em over and buy some.  I bought Anasazi flute #13, which is made of lightning-struck aromatic cedar.  Also, I got the first one he made with the enamel inlay... #109.  What a gorgeous flute.  Mr. Phippen - if you're reading this - Michael said that he'd shown it to you and that you'd chosen another one.  Thanks, dude.  I love the flute!  Instead of being flared wider at the front end, it's actually bevelled a little narrower.

Michael and I met one night at his place and walked down the way to an old handball court and played on a chilly night under the moon.  It was awesome to be there with him doing a duet... it was just over way too quickly!

As a player of both jinashi and jiari shakuhachi's and hotchiku's since 1974, I have to say that the Anasazi and Hopi flutes are just another way to experience what is basically the same Spirit.  Michael's newer flutes have and epoxy-coated bore now, making them more like a jiari shakuhachi.  That being said, they still maintain a spiritual quality that is reminiscent of a jinashi shakuhachi.  My early flute, #13, is truly soft in nature like a good jinashi, though the older flutes also have narrower holes and a little less utaguchi-like blowing edges.  The Hopi flute I got from him is more reminiscent of the actual artifacts from the Basketmaker Era, c. 650 CE.  Sort of rounded, no diagonal cut, or edge, to blow on.  It's really the hardest of all in that way.  But, the Hopi flute is deeply spiritual in its own way.  All of these flutes are magical.

I kind of see the Anasazi and Hopi flutes as being more shamanically oriented, and definitely very free; as Michael informed me, there are no rules.  Japanese bamboo flutes, as we all know, center in these times around rather rigid systems in which players in traditional mode play standard pieces.  In addition, the context is - or should be - about spiritual realization in the context of Zen, or, as one scholar has elucidated, in the context of the esoteric Mikkyo schools in which the flute's form was that of the "tempuku."   So, when I'm into the Buddhist thing, I pick up a Japanese flute and basically do my own shugyo.  When it's more about a somewhat shamanic feeling, I'll pick up and play one of Michael's flutes.  It's just kind of like heading into different hemispheres.

Last edited by Harazda (2007-06-08 17:08:21)

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#21 2007-06-08 22:41:35

waryr
Member
From: Leesburg Florida
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 70

Re: Anasazi Flute

I also play Anasazi and Hopi flute, as well as jinashi shakuhachi.  I find all three have their place at different times, and I practice all three almost daily. Some days the shakuhachi is paramount, other days the Anasazi and on others the Hopi. I have also found that playing the archaic rimblown flutes have helped tune my emboucher and make playing the jinashi easier. I have even made a 1.8 hocchiku with just a rim and no utaguchi.  Requires MUCH focus to move from otsu to kan, but even the timbre of the sound is different from any of the other generic jinashi I play.

These old "Indian" flutes will teach you MUCH if you let them.


If you understand, things are just as they are, if you don't understand, things are just as they are.

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#22 2007-06-10 10:04:53

Lorka
Member
Registered: 2007-02-27
Posts: 303

Re: Anasazi Flute

Hi Harazda and Wryr,

I found both your posts very illuminating.  There was mention of an "epoxy-bore" coat that made the flute more jiari-like.  Does this mean that the volume has been increased (as I read that the flute is a little on the quiet side).  I am also curious about the utaguchi-like cut.  Would it make a difference if the utaguchi were fully the same as with a hocchiku or shakuhachi?  Or is the semi-utaguchi as close as it gets.  Or would there be no real difference.  I am not sure if the sharpness of the utaguchi cut even makes a difference, though I suspect that it does.  My thinking is that a sharper, more shakuhachi-like utaguchi might make it easier for shakuachi players to utilize.  Then again, I am new to shakuachi, so I don't really know.


Gravity is the root of grace

~ Lao Tzu~

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#23 2007-06-12 20:01:22

Harazda
Member
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 126

Re: Anasazi Flute

Hey Lorka,

Sorry I was a little bit delayed getting back to you;  I saw your post on the other thread, but I had some business to do... Anyway, Michael Graham Allen is making his Anasazi flutes with what I might call a "suggestion" of what we know as an utaguchi.  My Hopi flute has virtually no diagonal cut at all!  The early Anasazi flute I have has a slightly more evolved cut, and the later one has a more evolved though very rounded blowing edge.  Yep, it's harder playing one after playing a shakuhachi or hocchiku, for sure.  Once you hang out with it a while, though, it gets a little easier. 

The one I have with an epoxy bore does get better volume, plus it has bigger holes than the older flutes had.  Bottom line: it's easier to play. 

I see these flutes as being nice for a few reasons, one of which is that their sound is so soft and sweet... just downright mellow in a way reminiscent of jinashikan shakuhachi. 

I once remarked to him that I liked the fact that the Anasazi flutes were more primitive, with little pronounced blowing edges.  He replied that he liked to "cheat" by putting that edge on there.  I secretly agreed with him, actually.  One of my problems in life is that I'm the purist's purist, which leads to all kinds of problems.  The original ancient flutes had NO diagonal cut, as far as I can tell, but I'm willing to concede that an oblique blowing edge makes for a better experience.

One thing I really like is Michael's "no rules" comment; I prefer placing my little finger on the fourth hole on the Anasazi flute, and there's NO LAW that says I can't do it!  For me, it works much better that way!  All the holes are on the top of the flute, and it's pretty easy to get used to.

Chris

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#24 2007-06-12 20:58:54

Lorka
Member
Registered: 2007-02-27
Posts: 303

Re: Anasazi Flute

Thanks for the info Chris.  Very useful stuff.  Anasazi is the one other flute (other than shakuhachi and hocchiku) that I would like to play.

Are the larger holes and the epoxy bore done on all the newer models of Anasazi, or do you need to request such features when getting one.  I am thinking of getting one for Christmas for myself (if I have the work/cash).  I want one with as pronounced an utaguchi cut as is reasonable for the flute.

As for the sound, the little bit I have heard is very nice.  As you say, it has a smooth and mellow quality to it that is very relaxing.


Gravity is the root of grace

~ Lao Tzu~

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#25 2007-06-12 23:15:23

Harazda
Member
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 126

Re: Anasazi Flute

Lorka, I believe that Michael is making all his Anasazi's with epoxy bores and larger holes now, but if you talk to him, ask him to make sure!  Another thing... expect a long wait.  You might want to ask if he has any around that he has for sale; it might save you some hassle.  Plus, if you get his wife on the phone, her name is Mary Jane and she's a really nice lady.

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