Rich Halliburton's Querencia Flutes

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Location: Hermosa Beach, California, United States

After building flutes for a number of years now, I sneeze sawdust, and it scares my cat. That being said, it is however an absolute drop dead, no joke passion for me. When I'm not eating sawdust, I'm searching the entire planet for the most beautiful, exotic/bizarre woods, and gemstones I can find. I plow every dime back into purchasing these items, in addition to a few margarita supplies....... I don't follow, or pretend to understand a lot of the cardinal rules of flutemaking, and the end product seems to indicate I'm better off for it. PLUS, I continue to make great friends on a daily basis, most of whom possess humbling talent. ...Ya won't find that working at a carwash, even if it does pay better.

Thursday, July 19, 2007



“The real risks for any artist are taken in pushing the work to the limits of what is possible, in the attempt to increase the sum of what it is possible to think.”

- Salman Rushdie

My flutes, your fingers, and some changes.

Your fingers aren’t changing…….but my flutes are. Specifically, I’m discontinuing my practice of dishing or indenting the finger holes, and I’ll tell you why. Dishing, cupping, indenting etc. facilitates learning the instrument in that the holes are easy to find as you begin play, and half-holing, or rolling your finger off the hole feels more natural from a cupped surface. After discussing the issue with a number of NA flute recording artists, archivists, enthusiasts, collectors, and folks who possess an uncanny ability to play this instrument,…. dished finger holes cease to be a nice touch, and turn into a liability for the advanced player, in terms of creative latitude. To continue building flutes with this feature, is kind of like giving you a bike with training wheels you can never remove. I realize this modification isn’t particularly earth-shaking, but I thought I should mention it since I don’t routinely see skipping a building process altogether as an advancement for the instrument.

On another totally unrelated note. I now have California Buck eye burlwood. I have a lot of it. I have enough for a room addition. This stuff is gorgeous, un-stable, and almost always has voids and fractures that I’m filling with crushed turquoise from Arizona’s famous Sleeping Beauty mine, and crushed red jasper from Africa. This wood provides a stunning contrast to virtually any flute woods I use. I’m going to attempt to build an entire flute from buckeye sometime this year. I’ll be pretty upset if I can’t pull it off, as the wood required to build one flute was $140.00 US. Ok then....back to work. Thanks for stopping by.