While out walking near to where I recently moved in Oxfordshire, UK I came upon a large grove of Elder trees. I cast my eyes and opened my heart to these trees and asked them if there was a branch I could use to make a flute from. As I gazed around in silence a song floated upon the breeze of my imagination and I thought to myself that must be an Elder Song. The melody floated all around me as I noticed a beautiful dried and seasoned branch of Elder towards the back of the grove. As I made my way over to this tree I explained what I wanted to do with the wood. The song continued and I gently collected this piece and gave my thanks and gratitude to this whole grove of trees.
Later that day I began creating this flute and right from the very beginning she was taking me on a journey into the past. My own past in this life when I was just learning to make these flutes many years ago as well as the past of the ancestors from thousands of years gone by. From my past I was guided to carve the channel into the Totem instead of the flute body. This is how I originally started to make these flutes and hadn’t made one that way for many years. She sang right away and I played that little melody I heard in the Elder Grove. From the ancestors I felt how this tree has always given us powerful medicine to heal and protect in so many different ways and forms. The flowers, bark, berries and leaves are all so beneficial and useful, but also the branches of this tree that give us the sweet melodies of healing music. In honour of all Elder trees throughout the whole of Mother Earth I name this flute Elder Songs.
She is in the key of F4 at 432Hz and is 64cm (25”). She is made of Elder which I collected near my house in Oxfordshire. I use a combination of burning, sanding and polishing which gives each of these flutes a wonderful smooth finish and unique colour pattern. She is finished in Linseed oil only to keep her natural beauty alive and bright. She has 6 finger holes and is tuned to a pentatonic minor scale. The Totem is made from Black Locust which has been collected in the forest by my father to make his own beautiful objects. It is held in place with leather lace from North American Whitetail Deer hide. The stone inlays at the top of the flute are Turquoise and represent the clear blue sky of day and shining stars of the night. The large inlay in the body of the flute is Yellow Jasper and is the healing light of the Sun. The natural colour lashing at either end is artificial sinew.The feathers are tied on with leather cord and they are from Buzzard and Red Kite and as always were found while I am walking with Mother Nature of gifted to me by friends.
Find the music within yourself!
To hear a recording of her voice please follow the SoundCloud link below: