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 Post subject: Cotter flutes?
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 9:05 am 
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One thing I wonder about: I've heard that Eammon Cotter flutes rock, yet all the buzz is primarily about Hammy, Olwell, and Burns on the board. Is it because there are just not a lot of Cotter flutes around or am I missing something about them?

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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 9:28 am 
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Cotter flutes are very popular in Ireland and the rest of Europe. Since this board is mostly US-dominated, they are talked about less. I had a marvellous keyless. Easy to play, great bark. I sold it to a friend. Still miss it sometimes.

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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 10:25 am 
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Seattle fluter Hanz Araki (who's half Japanese and goes to Japan annually) told me that there is a pocket of Cotter owners in Japan.


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 12:12 pm 
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He also doesn't seem to have a Web site or email which makes it difficult for folks in the US to find out much about his flutes without a overseas phone call.

-Brett


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 12:26 pm 
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Cotter Flute Workshop
Balleen, Kilmaley, County Clare, Ireland
Tel/fax: +353 (0)65 683 9141
e-mail: cotter2(REMOVE-THIS-SPAMBLOCKER)@eircom.net


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 7:38 pm 
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Bretton wrote:
He also doesn't seem to have a Web site


Neither does Pat Olwell.

There are some Flute makers who make excellent Flutes, and are just not talked about a lot. Sometimes due to not having a website, sometimes due to not being played by pro players, but most of all because they do not promote themselves that well.

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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 7:53 pm 
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Unseen122 wrote:
most of all because they do not promote themselves that well.


maybe they don't feel they have a need to.

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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 12:17 am 
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Eamonn Cotter's flutes are played by very many up and coming brilliant professional flautists. They seem to be very much the flute of choice in the Department-Formerly-Known-As-Irish-World-Music-Centre at the university of Limerick. So I assume that when these flute geniuses here will become more publicly known, demand for Cotter flutes will be soaring.

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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 7:24 am 
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Come now . . . don't you remember the HUGE knockdown-dragout fight we had about Cotter flutes a couple of years ago?

They centered around the idea, which may or may not be true (and which may or may not have been true) that Cotter was charging US customers significantly more than domestic and European ones. The alleged reasoning was something along the lines of the fact that everyone in the US who's interested in Irish music is rich, while Ireland is filled with people brimming with musical talent and whose pockets were empty.

I've personally owned two Cotter flutes, and they were both great players. Since I wasn't made of money (and still am not on looking at myself) I sold them both and "moved on" to other instruments . . . but no one's going to argue about the sound of a Cotter flute. Very nice.

That was somewhere between 1997-2000; I can only imagine that the more recent ones are nice too.

There's something to be said for buying flutes from close (or closeR) to home, though; if there are problems you have more-readily-available recourse.

Stuart


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 8:14 am 
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sturob wrote:
There's something to be said for buying flutes from close (or closeR) to home, though; if there are problems you have more-readily-available recourse.


You're absolutely right there. Not to mention the customs and VATs and whatnot to be paid when receiving goods from other "trade blocks" than your own.

As for the alledged pricing differences between continents, I couldn't find the old knockdown-dragout from the archives. I'd suppose that a maker can end up giving discounts to musicians who he knows that are in need of a flute but lac the dough. In my opinion this doesn't mean that is not ripping of those who are charged the full price. Guess it's a matter of half full vs. half empty, though.

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 3:49 am 
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Interesting to note here that the two people who "did" own Cotters no longer do. Does that say something about the level of flute here? Are we to assume (hate that word) Cotter flutes are "beginner" flutes? Someone else commented that "up and comming flautists" are using Cotters. What may happen when they are "up" I wonder. Not trying to be all negative here, just seeking a more absolute answer.

BillG

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 4:36 am 
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I would think moving on is more of a matter of people's tendency to move on than that of the instruments they're moving from or to. As said earlier, the instruments are very highly valued in Ireland. Many a good flute player here who has not recorded and is thus of no evidential value to most of us plays one.

I would suppose that an "up and coming" flautist will be "up" or rather "out in the open" once s/he has a recording out. If BillG was referring to them switching flutes at that stage, it may well be so. Maybe. However, not all players do that.

I am not trying to be positive here, personally I have had mixed feelings about the Cotter flutes I've tried. (too high key blocks for my finger setup, some adjusting problems with embouchure - everything actually having more to do with me than the flutes in question btw)
However they seem to be highly valued among young professionals-to-be. Might be due to a good price/quality-ratio?
And although Niall Keegan doesn't personally play one, he keeps saying very good things about Eamonn's work. And with Eamonn Cotter, hardly a beginner in playing the flute, still playing instruments made by himself, I would't think they can be called beginners' flutes.

I am not one to be giving absolute answers. But how about a good ol' car comparison instead based on what I've seen and heard? :lol: A flute by Eamonn Cotter might not be a Rolls-Royce of Ferrari of flutes. It is more comparable to a good, well-drivable and reliable family car. Some want to work their way up the deluxe gear while others might find the music more pleasing than the instrument. (Of course there are also those who have the opportunity and the means to get a deluxe instrument and go for it, then finding even more pleasure in making the music with a top-of-the-notch flute.) These flutes seem to meet the requirements for professional level playing although there might be better flutes (or flutes better suited for certain styles of playing) around as well.

All the best,

Markus

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 4:54 am 
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There's a lot of speculation that can lead to reputation on a forum like this.
I do not remember any discussion/fight like sturob mentions and I have been reading these boards regularly for over 5 years now (it looks like a long time in print :-) ). Sturob can you provide a link to the discussion?
Problem is that a remark like that can come up again the next time Cotter flutes are discussed. Similar thing happened with discussions/rumours about Sam Murray. Very unfortunate indeed.

Whatever the case in the interwebworld, Eamonn is a respected flutemaker, performer and teacher of Irish Traditional music - at least in Ireland/Europe like MArkus mentioned.
He might not be that known outside Europe because he doesn't have a website. I don't think that's his cup of tea. He has an email adress, but I don't think he uses it :-)
He doesn't market his flute like some other makers, and therefor his flutes are not credited on as many recordings. All I remember is that Harry Bradley played a Cotter Eb on his 'Horseshoe Bends' CD and Gary Hastings plays a Cotter (also Eb?) on Slan le Loch Eirne.
There are more flootplayers that do not record than there are those that do (etc etc)

I have had my 6-key Cotter flute for 3 years now and do not plan to part with it. When ordering I wanted a flute from a European (EU) maker to prevent high import taxes, a reasonable waiting time (less than a year at the time) and a quality instrument that would last me for many years to come.
The more experienced flute players here have commented very positively about the flute. One of them referred to it as a great flute and excellent tool for making irish music.
By no means 'just a beginners flute'.

Here ends my rant/ramble,

cheers,
Jeroen

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 5:46 am 
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OT: To the best of my recollection from Slán le Loch Erne's liner notes, both of Rev Hastings' flutes used on the album were mede by Sam Murray. Not going to argue with you on that, though, as my copy of the album is in Finland and I'm not.

As for Harry on "Bad turns..", he did indeed use a Cotter Eb. He has also spoken quite favorably of Eamonn's Eb flutes. http://chiffboard.mati.ca/viewtopic.php?t=9951&start=15
I remember a posting here telling us of the flute on Bad turns having had a sad ending.. Oh yes, http://chiffboard.mati.ca/viewtopic.php ... +shattered

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 6:59 am 
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BillG wrote:
Interesting to note here that the two people who "did" own Cotters no longer do. Does that say something about the level of flute here? Are we to assume (hate that word) Cotter flutes are "beginner" flutes? Someone else commented that "up and comming flautists" are using Cotters. What may happen when they are "up" I wonder. Not trying to be all negative here, just seeking a more absolute answer.


Eamonn Cotter makes a great flute. I know because I have one, an Eb keyless. At least at the time I got mine (1998 or so) his flutes were truly an unsung treasure, because not only were they good, they were not expensive (I think I paid around US$500 for mine, which even at the time was a good price) and there was virtually no wait (for a keyless, anyway - I ordered mine in April that year and Eamonn had it ready for me when I came to the Willie Week in July). It sounds like the folks in Limerick have copped on to the fact that Eamonn Cotter flutes are well worth playing.

What's a "beginner" flute, Bill? One that a beginner won't have too much trouble filling when first starting up? If that's your definition, then yes, Cotter flutes are good beginner flutes. But if by "beginner" flute you mean one that as the player matures he/she will grow out of because it has deficiencies that become apparent to better players, then no, Cotter flutes are decidedly not that. Just because no "big name" player can be produced who plays a Cotter flute (although Eamonn Cotter himself is a "big name" player if you ask me, and he plays his own flutes), or because there's a good bit of trade in used Cotter flutes, this does not in any way reflect on their quality. (Ever tallied up how many Olwell flutes have changed hands? You might be surprised. And no one disses his flutes on account of that.) Most likely, the Cotter flutes are being put on the market because they are keyless and the owner was able to secure a keyed flute, or because they were bought by a beginner (since they are, or at least were, readily available at a good price) and that beginner has decided that they are not really made out to be a flute player. (Some beginners go through several flutes on the way to coming to this realization.)

Basing your purchase of a flute on who has or has not played or kept one from the same maker is not the way to go. The only way to guarantee that you're getting the right flute for you is to play it (or a similar one) yourself, or rely on advice from a better player whose judgment you can trust. (Hint: Most people on Chiff & Fipple, myself included, probably don't fall under that definition.) Good flutes are much more readily available these days than they were in years past, but they rarely if ever will just fall into your lap without any upfront legwork.


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