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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:53 am 
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Interested on hearing what anyone's take on the 2020 Olwell Birthday 8-key flute in cocuswood and silver, Pratten model with Boehm C-foot is?

Personally, I think that the Boehm-style C-foot with the really tastefully crafted curving keys is a thing of beauty, and the fact that they are block-mounted (to me) really makes it tie in with the rest of the block-mounted flute, and even adds to it's elegance.

Photos on: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Olwell-Birth ... 4266852586


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:51 pm 
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Thanks for posting. Beautiful, as always. Given the foot joint, the flute ought to be called 'The Octopus.'


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:20 pm 
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Olwell or not, $7,000+ for a flute with such a weird footjoint!? :boggle: Thanks but no thanks!

Looks aside, I wonder how usable this footjoint is. I'd be particularly concerned about the Eb key...

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:15 pm 
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I think it needs an Elvish name.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:47 pm 
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gwuilleann wrote:
Olwell or not, $7,000+ for a flute with such a weird footjoint!? :boggle: Thanks but no thanks!

Looks aside, I wonder how usable this footjoint is. I'd be particularly concerned about the Eb key...


My guy, it absolutely plays itself. Effortless, instant response, and silent key actuation as well.

I think it looks elegant, like silver vines growing up the flute.

Rob

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:47 am 
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It's an Olwell flute so I assume that it plays very well. Very generous of the Olwells to donate half of the money to a worthy cause too.

Aesthetically I don't like the look of foot joint, although I'm sure the keys work just fine, as Rob indicated. The wood and silver rings look great, but the foot joint with the bendy key shafts looks at odds with the rest of the flute.

The squarish shoulders of the foot joint key blocks don't match the rounded shoulders of the key blocks on the rest of the flute, the soldering of the key shafts to the cups looks sloppy, and the cork on the key touches does not look elegant at all. I just don't like the looks of the bendy key shaft style of flute making. I'm sure many others will love it, so don't mind me.
.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:45 am 
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Rob Sharer wrote:
My guy, it absolutely plays itself. Effortless, instant response, and silent key actuation as well.

I think it looks elegant, like silver vines growing up the flute.

Rob


Yeah, I was thinking something "organic" like vines or the organic stem of a plant of some variety, inspired by nature, which to me, just adds to its beauty.

I personally absolutely love the look of the foot, but I was genuinely interested in what other's take on it was, and I think that it's fair enough that some people find it "weird" or if aesthetically it just isn't to their taste.

Life would be pretty boring if we all liked the same things.

I think this was a very courageous innovation by the maker, seeing as (in my opinion) many people will be looking at the C-foot, and judging it on C-foot joints that have been made in the manner/s that they have been since the C19th, and it is natural that there will be scepticism to something that 'deviates' from the well trodden path.

My father is a bodhrán maker and in 1975, he devised ("invented," if you like) the internal tone ring to tension bodhrán skins, which are very temperamental to changes in humidity and climate. The system worked fantastically. Thus a new design was born and like most new ideas was heavily criticised by the traditionalists. He suffered many embarrassing moments in seisiúns, because of their comments; and the idea that such an ethnic drum design should be tampered with caused annoyance amongst other big makers, but thankfully progress prevailed and the instrument took its biggest step to become a more 'musical' rather than a 'mere' percussive instrument.

To juxtaposition the design of a bodhrán design and innovation, alongside a new design on the C-foot of a flute might seem ludicrous to some, but to me I can see similarities on how it may be initially received by some.

I suppose what I am trying to say, and the point of my 'story' is, if I were the maker, I would be encouraged by both the 'seemingly negative' as well as positive comments, as having first hand experience of the maker's work, I have no reason to doubt that the new design is amazing in terms of functionality, as well as aesthetically.

Well done!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:01 pm 
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murrough o'kane wrote:
My father is a bodhrán maker and in 1975, he devised ("invented," if you like) the internal tone ring to tension bodhrán skins, which are very temperamental to changes in humidity and climate. The system worked fantastically. Thus a new design was born and like most new ideas was heavily criticised by the traditionalists. He suffered many embarrassing moments in seisiúns, because of their comments; and the idea that such an ethnic drum design should be tampered with caused annoyance amongst other big makers, but thankfully progress prevailed and the instrument took its biggest step to become a more 'musical' rather than a 'mere' percussive


Some people have no perspective. Change is all around it doesn’t stop. Imagine living in 1845, you’ve just witnessed the invention of the saxhorn (flügelhorn, tenor horn, baritone, ...) all staples of brass bands, the saxophones will be patented next year (both instrument families by the same busy man), Böhm will patent his flute in two years, the clarinet as we know it today was developed by Klosé and Buffet in 1843. Today we’ve got dirt cheap microcontrollers that be turned into midi controllers of any shape, and you can hook them up to a computer to make any noise. You can’t do a Canute and expect it be a winning strategy+.

(+) Seems that story might be about something else rather than holding back the tide.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:15 pm 
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@ Murrough -- well said yourself and I totally agree:

having first hand experience of the maker's work, I have no reason to doubt that the new design is amazing in terms of functionality, as well as aesthetically.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:09 pm 
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murrough o'kane wrote:
I think this was a very courageous innovation by the maker, seeing as (in my opinion) many people will be looking at the C-foot, and judging it on C-foot joints that have been made in the manner/s that they have been since the C19th, and it is natural that there will be scepticism to something that 'deviates' from the well trodden path.


Just to be clear, I didn't criticize this foot joint because it deviates from the traditional one. Looks aside (which is a matter of personal taste), I'd be concerned about the Eb key because it is really thin, and with my big fingers I wonder if I'd be able to hit it reliably without hitting the other keys. But of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, although it's a pudding I'm unlikely to ever taste... :wink:

Having said all that, I'm very supportive of Mr Olwell's effort to move away from the traditional footjoint, which in my opinion is not very ergonomic. I wish more makers would try to innovate in this area (or simply offer Boehm footjoints).

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:21 pm 
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Isaac Alderson is playing and Olwell with this foot on a video I saw recently. I am sure he would respond with his opinion if contacted. Decades ago a 6 keyed Olwell playing pro asked if an 8 key would be possible. The response he got at the time was something to the effect of if he were to make one he'd want to make sure he were doing it right. So there has likely been quite a bit of thought put into that design.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:34 am 
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The bidding for the flute has now already reached $8,257 which reflects the demand for a keyed Olwell flute. I'm sure the foot joint keys work fine, that's obvious as it's an Olwell flute. Bendy key shafts are just not my thing, As regards keyed foot joints I'm an old fashioned Rudall & Rose pewter key cup aficionado. Play on!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:52 am 
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This antique Guichard flute has the most beautiful C/C# foot joint. So elegant, yet discrete.

https://www.irishflutestore.com/collect ... lver-8-key


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:04 am 
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tstermitz wrote:
This antique Guichard flute has the most beautiful C/C# foot joint. So elegant, yet discrete.

https://www.irishflutestore.com/collect ... lver-8-key

That's very nice, @tstermitz !

I just prefer block-mounted keys to pin-mounted keys, not that there's anything at all wrong with pin-mounted keys, but that's just my own preference.

I think this new C-foot has really done the trick for me, in marrying the Böhm style keys on the C-foot joint with block mounts.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:51 am 
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Quote:
 I think this new C-foot has really done the trick for me, in marrying the Böhm style keys on the C-foot joint with block mounts.


Are you thinking of taking a punt Murrough?
Also, would the Bodhran maker in the family happen to be called Seamus? I know someone who swears by theirs. :)


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