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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:17 am 
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There has been a late addition to the birthday flute:

"This is an addendum to the birthday flute auction: I decided to offer an alternate option to the Boehm foot that has been previously shown. This is the more "period" style of key work that would have been found on flutes comparable to the ones we make, and there are many who's aesthetic might be formed by an appreciation for these instruments. My own experience has been that history aside, this key system is slightly less mechanically efficient, but to each their own! Therefore, the high bidder will have the option of receiving whichever foot they prefer. If chosen, the foot pictured here will get the same style rings featured on the Boehm foot and head. Please enquire if you have any further questions!
Thanks,
Aaron Olwell"

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:16 am 
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I like this foot joint much better as it is more in keeping with the style of the rest of the flute, than the Boehm foot joint. Good that the Olwell shop offers a choice.

Would it be possible to have the C key shaft run parallel with the C# key shaft by making the left side of the C# key block narrower, and having the C key shaft bend/form itself just around the C# key cup? Prehaps reduce the diameter of the C# key cup a mite? I think this foot joint looks more elegant. Even better if the C# and C keys were pewter. I'm old-fashioned, and don't mind the noise.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:13 am 
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Hi Jeggy,

Thanks for bringing mine (and all of our) attention to this.

I have just read the post on the Olwell Flutes Facebook page, regarding the alternative option of the "more period" style of C-foot joint. They are both really nice, and I personally certainly wouldn't refuse either of the 2.

As Steampacket said, it is good that the Olwell shop offers a choice.

Both C-foot joints really nice, and no doubt it may be a had decision for the buyer to make, and at the end of the day, it will be down to their decision or personal preference.

Hi, Uni Flute. I play left-handed, so I am not in the running (and yes, Seamus is my father), but I did get a 6-keyed cocus wood Pratten made from the same maker, late last year, and can't say enough good things about their ridiculously high standards of workmanship, and they really go out of their way to accommodate you, to give you the best possible instrument that you could have dreamed of.

I have a particular vested interest in this flute, and its C-foot joint, as my own order was placed with the understanding that at a later date, I will trade back my current foot joint for a keyed C-foot to make it an 8-keyed Pratten, and was interested in hearing others thought about this design.

From my own experience and dealings with this maker, I know that the winning bidder in this auction will receive the flute of their dreams. I really cannot say enough nice things about my own flute, and how happy I am with it, and how courteous and professional the maker was to deal with.

I also love the fact that half of the final bid will be donated to the Navajo Nation and organisations supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:08 am 
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Hey everyone,

I've been enjoying this conversation. I'm relatively new to the trad music scene - been doing whistle for about five years and keyless flute off and on for a year or so. My background is in classical flute and I now love the freedom of playing a flute without keys. I imagine flutists who learned on keyless flutes find freedom in keyed instruments. :)

The footjoint on the Olwell birthday flute got me thinking about how keyed flutists manage low C and C#, if they come up a lot in trad playing, and if the rollers are really necessary?

Jennifer


Last edited by jenfen on Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:13 am 
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Hi jenfen,

The truth of the matter is that many Irish traditional flute players, don't use the low C and C# keys.

From my own experience of starting off on a keyless flute in the late '80s / early '90s, on firstly a completely keyless flute, then moving onto a 3-keyed flute (those keys being: F natural, G# and C natural) you didn't play the low C and C# notes, because they physically weren't on the instrument, so you compensated / made do with what you had and played the "high Cs" (... there's a tune name in there somewhere, with a nautical feel; "The High C's" / "The High Seas" - Out on the Ocean)... I digress...

Possibly as a result of this, or from even starting off on the whistle, you will still find many Irish traditional players not using their low C and C# keys.

But for many, it is great to; firstly, physically have them on your flute's foot joint, and secondly, be able to physically access them.

I play "left-handed" style (with my right hand on the top notes of the flute), so I have to get wooden flutes "tailor-made," if I am able to access many of the keys that are quite difficult for me to physically access ordinarily on a "right-handed" flute, but still possible with "most" keys, as great players like Patsy Hanly and John Wynne so effortlessly demonstrate.

Back on topic again, there are a lot of Irish traditional music players who do find having the low C and C# keys advantageous, as you have 2 extra notes; make that 3, if you want to include the D# key, on the C-foot.

I would prefer to have the C and C# keys on my flute.

That's my thoughts on the matter of, "to C, or not to C#" anyhow.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:32 am 
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jenfen wrote:
The footjoint on the Olwell birthday flute got me thinking about how keyed flutists manage low C and C#, if they come up a lot in trad playing, and if the rollers are really necessary?

To me it's not about whether or not you've got rollers but where the touches are. The touches are in different relative positions on a Boehm-style foot and the old-style articulated keys. I'd have had C and C# on my flute if the Boehm-style layout had been an option, but it wasn't, and the other way's just not for me.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:14 pm 
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jenfen wrote:
I've been enjoying this conversation. I'm relatively new to the trad music scene - been doing whistle for about five years and keyless flute off and on for a year or so. My background is in classical flute and I now love the freedom of playing a flute without keys. I imagine flutists who learned on keyless flutes find freedom in keyed instruments. :)

Yes, to a certain extent, although those of us who primarily play Irish and Scottish trad don't get the kind of constant practice with the keys that a Classical player would, due to the vast majority of the repertoire being playable without keys. I started on a keyless "Irish" flute and moved to a keyed flute a year and a half ago. I'm still not what I'd call fluent on the keys. Most of the tunes I play don't need 'em, but I sure like having them for those that do.

Quote:
The footjoint on the Olwell birthday flute got me thinking about how keyed flutists manage low C and C#, if they come up a lot in trad playing, and if the rollers are really necessary?

I only use the low C# key on a single tune, the J.B. Reel. I don't use the C key at all; it just doesn't come up in the tunes I play. I would love to have even lower notes available, all the way down to G for tunes I can play on mandolin while still having the D bell tone, but flutes just don't work that way. I either "fold" a lower note up an octave if it works for the tune, or else pick up my mandolin when it doesn't.

I use the Eb key on a few favorite tunes like the J.B Reel, Crested Hens, Svampmannen, along with the G# key on a couple of those. These aren't session standards in my area, I just enjoy playing them at home. My flute is the traditional Rudall & Rose type C foot keys with "paddle" touches, no rollers. Works fine for me.

Regarding the OP: If I were in a position to bid and win the Olwell flute (I'm not), then I'd go for the traditional C foot. The new swirly design may even work better, but I don't use the keys that much, and not sure I could get used to that look.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:53 pm 
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$13,600 :boggle: I hope the buyer is not allergic to cocus :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:37 am 
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gwuilleann wrote:
$13,600 :boggle: I hope the buyer is not allergic to cocus :lol:


That's a hefty price.

Even if I were willing to pay that much, I'm not a good enough player to own it. I'd be like a chimp in a ferrari.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:31 pm 
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Yes, $13,600 is a lot of money for most people. But it's a one-of-a-kind flute by one of the greatest-ever makers. And half of it is going to a progressive cause. After eBay takes its cut the Olwells will receive about $12,200. A Birthday Flute generally sells for from about $8,000 to $11,000. The $6,100 they will net for this flute is considerably less than the birthday flute normally sells for.

Kudos to Aaron and Patrick for their generosity and decency.

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