Sunday, April 27, 2008

Irish Emigrant Article & New Myspace Tunes!

The Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra (WSHSO) received some good publicity this week in The Irish Emigrant, one of the Irish weekly papers available here in NYC. The article began with mention of our upcoming performance at the Glucksman Ireland House (see below for details) and included a picture taken on at our March 14th performance at the St. Patrick's Old Cathedral. Click here to view a pdf of the newspaper clipping.

Today three new tunes went up on the WSHSO Myspace site! The new tunes - Dan O'Hara, New York Ceili Band Jigs, and Far From Home/Mayor Harrison's Fedora - are professional-quality recordings made by a student in the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at New York University. I realize I'm hardly an impartial judge, but I think they sound REALLY GOOD. Have a listen and see if you agree!

Since my March 16th post, the WSHSO played a few pub gigs:

This week's upcoming performances include:

  • May 1 at Ireland House's annual Airneál na Bealtaine - an evening of traditional music and song presented by NYU students and others from the NYU community.

  • May 4 - annual live radio performance on Ceol na nGael, a program broadcast every Sunday, Noon to 4 pm Easternon Fordham University's WFUV public radio station. WFUV broadcasts over the internet, so you can hear this one without leaving home. All you have to do is figure out the time difference. Here's a handy Timezone Converter that will make it easy. Select Eastern Daylight Timezone - New York, NY, USA - and convert to your location. On May 4th at the appropriate time, click here to listen via the internet. If you miss the live broadcast, the show will be archived for 14 days. Click the link I gave for internet listening, but go to the Listen tab and select Audio Archives to access the Ceol na nGael show. Ain't technology wonderful - sometimes? (This was rescheduled for July 27)

© 2008, Linda Mason Hood
Truffles, Turtles & Tunes Copyright Statement

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Flute Dilemma Again (or rather, still)

I have a confession to make. The sandalwood headjoint I was so excited about in my March 29th post is not a "done deal."

In the midst of my St. Patrick's Day gigs, my own Haynes silver flute developed a couple of leaks, so I took it to Jeff Weissman for repair. He kept my flute and lent me a Sedona flute and the lovely little Sedona sandalwood headjoint. I had every intention of purchasing both the headjoint and the flute when I returned to pick up my repaired Haynes. The total price of $1850 included $850 for the Sedona sandalwood headjoint, $850 for the Sedona flute (complete with its own silver headjoint), plus tax. Included in the deal was a full-sized flute case plus outer carrying case for the Sedona flute and a separate little headjoint case for the sandalwood headjoint.

You see, the sandalwood headjoint doesn't actually fit my Haynes, as was implied in my 3/29 post. Having fallen in love with its sweet, woody sound, I rationalized the purchase of a second flute. It would be good to have a my own backup flute, and it would be good to avoid taking my very valuable Haynes into places where beer could be spilled on it, etc. Now you have ALL the facts. That level of detail didn't seem necessary for the 3/29 post, but you won't understand my present dilemma without full disclosure. So there you have it. Continuing on...

I played the Sedona flute for about a month before my Haynes was ready for pickup. During that time I realized that while the Sedona is a very good student flute, it is still a student flute. It handles very differently from my lovely handmade Haynes. I began to miss the responsiveness of the Haynes key mechanisms, the feel of the sound vibrating under my fingers, in short, the experience of a quality instrument.

Additionally, I began to convince myself that the sandalwood headjoint might just fit my 30-year old Haynes flute with it's smaller bore and thinner walls. After all, the Sedona sandalwood headjoint was small even for the Sedona flute's body. I discovered just how significant the size difference was after I cleaned off the teflon tape that Jeff had used on the tenon to make the headjoint fit.

I tried not to notice that the sandalwood headjoint's pitch seemed a bit flat. I convinced myself that I would be able to push the tenon ALL the way in, once the final prepping before purchase had been done.

Yesterday - when I went to the Weissman shop intending to pick up my Haynes, have the Sedona prepped and pay for it - my fantasies came crashing down on me. Discussing the final fitting and adjustment of the sandalwood headjoint, I realized that:

  • It will NOT be coaxed into fitting my Haynes.
  • It can NOT be expanded to fit the Sedona flute either, so it will always require teflon tape.
  • Whether due to its construction or to the everpresent teflon tape scraps, the sandalwood's tenon cannot be inserted any farther into the body of the flute, so there will never be any flexibility in making the flute sharper.

Now I have to answer this question: Do I really want to spend $1850 on a student flute and a headjoint that will always require teflon tape, will not play an A higher than 440 at best, and will have little-to-no resale value?

Resale didn't start out to be a concern. Owning multiple flutes and conceding the possibility of selling them at a later date wasn't part of my mindset as a classical player. I have come to realize, however, that Irish flute players buy a number of flutes and then sell them if they don't work out or if they don't get played much. That started me thinking about resale and realizing that the Sedona brand could be a problem. While Weissman makes a very respectable wooden piccolo, nobody's heard of his Sedona brand yet. His Sedona flutes -- made to his own design and manufactured solely for his shop -- are presently not advertised at all, not even on his own website! How would I ever sell an inexpensive student flute nobody's heard of? Plus, the market for wooden headjoints on silver flutes is not very big to begin with, so without some brandname "buzz" it would be very hard to sell this particular sandalwood headjoint. A Sedona wooden headjoint would take years to gain the reputation of the premiere wooden headjoints made by Abel, Eppler, Noy, and Howard Roberts - all of which, by the way, cost a good deal more than the Sedona sandalwood.

In the few days I have left to decide, I'm doing some serious thinking and investigations. You'll remember that I bought the Vista PC without doing my homework and what a mess occurred as a result. (See my Technology posts.) Taking a lesson from that situation, I want to carefully rethink this flute dilemma before swiping my credit card. Here's what I see as my present options:

  1. The "spare flute" scenario above is valid. I could get the Sedona flute and Sedona sandalwood headjoint. I could use it for years and feel it was worth the price, regardless of resale value. The pitch is not too flat, and the sound is very pleasing. I wouldn't have to play the Sedona exclusively; I could still play my Haynes.
  2. There are 2 vintage Boehm system wooden flutes on eBay right now, very tempting in the $1300 range. They wouldn't play like my Haynes, but then neither does the Sedona. At least the headjoint would fit the body of the flute. And a 1920's flute would be very cool. Kept in good condition, it would only appreciate in value.
  3. I could buy a used headjoint made by a premiere maker whose work is well known. I have emailed several people who are selling wooden headjoints. (Chiff & Fipple Flute Forum and are good resources for second-hand purchases.) If I could get one small enough for my flute, it might be easier to sell it later. It could be fitted to larger diameter flutes with a little teflon tape. Based on the ads I read yesterday, it seems like people accept teflon tape as a reasonable solution for a headjoint that gets occasional use when a woody sound is desired.
  4. I could see if Peter Noy or another of the premiere headjoint makers would build a wooden headjoint to fit my Haynes.
  5. While playing both the Sedona combo and my Haynes over the next few days, I will once again revisit the notion of sticking with the Boehm system flute for Irish music. Maybe that idea is just flawed to begin with! (apologies, Joanie. After all, there are exceptions to every rule.)

So that's it. Sometimes I wonder why everything in my life becomes a huge project. That's a rhetorical question, so please don't comment! If, however, you have any words of wisdom to offer before Tuesday on the flute dilemma, send them my way. And stay tuned for the next exciting chapter in this blog's continuing flute saga.

© 2008, Linda Mason Hood
Truffles, Turtles & Tunes Copyright Statement

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Truffles, Turtles & Tunes Copyright Statement

Copyright laws may be complicated, but the basic underlying concept is pretty simple: original material created in some tangible form is protected and can’t be copied by others who would claim credit for it. This is an international concept dating back to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works in 1886. The United States and most other nations subscribe to this treaty. The US also maintains its own copyright laws which reiterate the fact that all material is protected automatically, whether it's registered with the US Copyright Office or not. Material is protected upon creation, whether or not a copyright notation containing the familiar © is displayed. Generally speaking, copyright protection is in effect for 50 years beyond the life of the author.

As I explored the area of copyright as it relates to the internet, I noticed that many sites make specific statements about copyright. In trying to think through these issues, I've jotted down my own intentions, principles of use, and terms and conditions for redistribution of material from my blog. Please contact me via the instructions below if you have any questions.

Statement of Intent
  • My blog is a means of creative expression.
  • The goal of my blog is to publish material that's informational, educational, hopefully somewhat entertaining.
  • My blog is definitely a not-for-profit endeavor. I don't gain any monetary benefit from any of my posts. Even when I'm writing about my own musical activities, I am reporting, interpreting, or reflecting upon my performances, not advertising them. (And in most cases, I wouldn't gain any profit even if I were advertising!)
Principles of Use
  1. Posts that were derived in any way from the writing of others have been footnoted or referenced with links in the body of the post. 
  2. I do not use direct links or commit bandwidth theft.
  3. Any photographs without a credit are my photos. Please do not use them without my permission.
  4. Photographs or graphic images created by others and used with permission are identified.
  5. In cases where I have attempted to get permission but the owner could not be located or did not respond, I have given appropriate credit. (If I have used your image without obtaining permission, please contact me.)
  6. In informational or educational posts where I've used a copyrighted image belonging to an educational institution or organization, I have displayed their copyright information.
  7. On posts about books, I have used low-resolution images of book covers. I believe this constitutes "fair use" under US copyright laws for the following reasons:
  • The book cover is used to identify the book, a function for which no free-use image is available or can be substituted.
  • The cover of the media is not the actual content specifically being sold by the publisher of the media, and therefore the commercial impact of this distribution is minimal or nonexistent.
  • The cover image is uploaded at a low enough resolution that it cannot be effectively used to create counterfeit printed copies, nor does it compete with other official printed materials (if any) by the publisher that use this same image.

Terms and Conditions of Redistribution
  1. You may use original material including pictures from this site for non-commercial and/or educational purposes if you obtain permission and give me the appropriate credit. I consider “appropriate credit” to consist of the following:

    Internet use – provide my full name and insert a link to the individual blog post you’re referencing or which incorporated the picture you are using. For example, beneath a picture that you are using, include this text: Photo courtesy of Linda Mason Hood, used with permission. Then, please insert a hyperlink to the post on my blog where the picture appears.

    Written material – provide a footnote which contains my full name, the post title and post date, as well as the URL of the post you’re referencing. Please note: The correct way to link to a single blog post is to click on the title of the post, then copy the resulting URL.

  2. You may not use material of others that I have incorporated into my posts. I have their permission, but it does not extend second-hand to you. Feel free to contact me if you would like to ask their permission.
  3. You may not use material from this site for commercial use unless you contact me by email and get my permission first.
To Contact Me...
Please email me at linhood46 AT (replace the word AT with @).

Helpful Links
If you'd like to read more about copyright principles and use of graphics on the internet, here are some websites that offer straightforward and understandable information.
Law/copyright/FAQ section of Internet FAQ Archives
What is Copyright?
Copyright Basics section of the US Copyright Office

© 2008, Linda Mason Hood
updated December 18, 2011