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Does anyone know what instrument this is? Is it a flute?
http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=106120
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Author:  SkB [ Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:15 am ]
Post subject:  Does anyone know what instrument this is? Is it a flute?

Was listening to some old Marvin Gaye session tapes and I'm having trouble identifying the instrument that comes in at around 7 seconds in this clip:

https://soundcloud.com/skhrmny/1a-1

And again at around 4 seconds here:

https://soundcloud.com/skhrmny/2a-1

It sort of sounds like air turbulence so I was thinking it's some sort of wind instrument/flute but I'm not sure what it would be...anyone?

Author:  s1m0n [ Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Does anyone know what instrument this is? Is it a flute?

Got me. No idea. Either synths or some heavily processed accoustic instrument would be my best guess.

Author:  benhall.1 [ Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Does anyone know what instrument this is? Is it a flute?

My best guess would be keyboard of some sort. Could just be a plain electronic organ. Mixed in with the other sounds, it might sound a bit different. Maybe if you could separate out the sound? I definitely can't with my rudimentary equipment.

Author:  SkB [ Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Does anyone know what instrument this is? Is it a flute?

Hey. I actually posted this as a sort of experiment (though I didn't get too many responses to make it very meaningful haha). The instrument is, in fact, this:

Image

For those of you with the appropriate background, it may look like a bansuri. That's because it is, essentially. But obviously, it's not being played like one. The idea has been to approach the instrument like a big, "grown-up" version of a blues fife. This means that things like distortion (to the point of reaching natural "overdrive"), "punch," "bite," and "snarl" get emphasized and maximized.

The only effect/processing is a bit of snare drum compression.

Author:  AaronFW [ Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Does anyone know what instrument this is? Is it a flute?

SkB wrote:
Hey. I actually posted this as a sort of experiment (though I didn't get too many responses to make it very meaningful haha). The instrument is, in fact, this:

Image

For those of you with the appropriate background, it may look like a bansuri. That's because it is, essentially. But obviously, it's not being played like one. The idea has been to approach the instrument like a big, "grown-up" version of a blues fife. This means that things like distortion (to the point of reaching natural "overdrive"), "punch," "bite," and "snarl" get emphasized and maximized.

The only effect/processing is a bit of snare drum compression.


Sneaky.

It looks like you’ve taken down the audio now? I did not listen to it originally since I am a novice musician and assumed others would have had better guesses than anything I could have. Or maybe I did not have time and was reading on my phone (I’ve forgotten which, or maybe it was a combination).

Though I do have an interest in flutes of all cultures.

Can you tell us about the flute? How long is it, it is hard to tell scale by the picture. Who made it, or where did it come from?

Why are you playing it like a “blues fife”? What is the inspiration for that, do you know others who do similarly?

(I did some graduate work in ethno-arts and cultural anthropology, so all the possible details are interesting to me.)

Author:  SkB [ Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Does anyone know what instrument this is? Is it a flute?

AaronFW wrote:

Sneaky.

It looks like you’ve taken down the audio now? I did not listen to it originally since I am a novice musician and assumed others would have had better guesses than anything I could have. Or maybe I did not have time and was reading on my phone (I’ve forgotten which, or maybe it was a combination).

Though I do have an interest in flutes of all cultures.

Can you tell us about the flute? How long is it, it is hard to tell scale by the picture. Who made it, or where did it come from?

Why are you playing it like a “blues fife”? What is the inspiration for that, do you know others who do similarly?

(I did some graduate work in ethno-arts and cultural anthropology, so all the possible details are interesting to me.)


The flute was made as a standard E bass bansuri (note the large size of the holes relative to the shaft length; also consider that, though you can't tell visually of course, it is tuned according to an untempered diatonic scale). The length is about 31 inches. I believe the maker is a man named Jeff Whittier.

Why am I playing it like a blues fife? Well, I'm playing it like a blues fife about as much as a guitar player plays a guitar like a diddley bow. I initially theorized that it was possible that larger, longer pieces of bamboo would be conducive for "liberating" the percussive characteristics I recognized in the smaller, shriller fifes used in the fife and drum blues tradition (perhaps interestingly, if you reference the history of the bansuri in India, you'll find that a very similar thing happened---larger, longer pieces of bamboo allowed flutes, previously considered to be exclusively "folk" instruments in India, to become "usable" in Hindustani raga based classical music). As far as I'm aware, I'm the first/only one to try this, especially to the extent that I'm treating the instrument almost like a three-dimensional, harmonically "competent" snare drum surface. Sharde Thomas (the granddaughter of the famous blues fife player, Otha Turner) continues to maintain the tradition of her grandfather, but, of course, in order to do this, she uses very small pieces of river cane. I would recommend you check her out (she's been able to achieve a very sweet, smooth timbre) if you're interested. But again, I don't know of any others who have broken into what I've been trying to develop.

Yes, I took the audio down. I mainly just wanted to get some "objective" input as to how the timbre and harmonic behavior of the instrument (when engaged with the techniques I've been developing) is being interpreted by an "impartial" audience. Since not very many people responded to or seemed interested in the original post, I assumed there wasn't too much of a point in keeping it up, though I could be wrong.

Author:  AaronFW [ Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Does anyone know what instrument this is? Is it a flute?

SkB wrote:
Sharde Thomas (the granddaughter of the famous blues fife player, Otha Turner) continues to maintain the tradition of her grandfather, but, of course, in order to do this, she uses very small pieces of river cane. I would recommend you check her out (she's been able to achieve a very sweet, smooth timbre) if you're interested.


I will need to check her out.

SkB wrote:
Yes, I took the audio down. I mainly just wanted to get some "objective" input as to how the timbre and harmonic behavior of the instrument (when engaged with the techniques I've been developing) is being interpreted by an "impartial" audience. Since not very many people responded to or seemed interested in the original post, I assumed there wasn't too much of a point in keeping it up, though I could be wrong.


From my perspective, this forum will be perpetually available to readers into the foreseeable future, so it is always a shame when media (such as music, videos, pictures) become no longer available. When the media is no longer available, the forum threads lose most, if not all, of their meaning. For example, the thread where people post pictures of their flutes is almost meaningless; or this thread regarding paintings of pipers where most images are now not available.
But that is always a risk with today's reality of data-limits, hosting, and the never-forgetting internet. Some data is kept forever, some data will always be lost. ... all that is to say, it is fine either way. Sooner or later the audio would stop being available.

Author:  Dan A. [ Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Does anyone know what instrument this is? Is it a flute?

AaronFW wrote:
For example, the thread where people post pictures of their flutes is almost meaningless; or this thread regarding paintings of pipers where most images are now not available.
But that is always a risk with today's reality of data-limits, hosting, and the never-forgetting internet.

I had a gander at the flute pictures thread. Some of the missing images could reappear if their tags were re-formatted, i.e. [ and ] in place of < and >. And or course, the worthlessness of Photobucket does no favors in that regard.

Author:  SkB [ Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Does anyone know what instrument this is? Is it a flute?

AaronFW wrote:

From my perspective, this forum will be perpetually available to readers into the foreseeable future, so it is always a shame when media (such as music, videos, pictures) become no longer available. When the media is no longer available, the forum threads lose most, if not all, of their meaning. For example, the thread where people post pictures of their flutes is almost meaningless; or this thread regarding paintings of pipers where most images are now not available.
But that is always a risk with today's reality of data-limits, hosting, and the never-forgetting internet. Some data is kept forever, some data will always be lost. ... all that is to say, it is fine either way. Sooner or later the audio would stop being available.


You're probably right.

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