A Girl & Her Flute

"Think you better slow your mustang down."

They both play fast.

I play a Powell Handmade Conservatory solid silver flute. I’ve played on many flutes and have always loved the sound of a Powell. The colorful tone and fluid pinless mechanism is a perfect match for me. My flute boasts 10K gold springs, drawn tone holes, pointed arms, and a handcut solid silver headjoint.

But let me tell you what really makes it fun. My SDS flute gear primarily consists of the air I breath, my lips, tongue, SPIT, and a little bit of crazy.  

*Not your stereotypical flute playing.

Depending on the song, the tone can be soft and pure…like the tone you'd expect from a flute…or it can be loud, edgy, and complex to thoroughly translate the emotion of the melody. This is something typically reserved for the electric guitars… not here!

Not here either...

There are two main elements I add to the flute that require NO electronics. 

First is singing and playing the flute simultaneously. Essentially, as I produce a regular tone on the flute with air, I sing an “ooo” and the resulting sound gives me a thick tone with a whole new palette of edgy and punchy color-- perfectly paired with the distorted guitar.

The second technique I use frequently mimics the drum set... kind of like a beatboxer, but with tone. Instead of starting with a clean “taaa” I change the syllables to “cha” or “ka” or “puh”… any syllable I want.

Breathing through the flute in this way AND singing while playing makes the flute a versatile weapon.


Pictured:  Versatility

That being said, making music with these creative minds for the past couple years has taught me that we can break the boundaries of musical genres and yes, even of gear. Currently, I am set up with two effects pedals: a Cry-Baby Wah coupled with an Ibanez DE7 Delay/Echo.

Pedals-- not just for guitar anymore!

Let me just tell you…  it’s really stinkin’ cool.  You’ve got to hear it.


Wondering what the heck Courtney's talking about, with her singing and fluting at the same time? See it in action here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-EbMe5NnGg
*Photo of Ian Anderson credited to theguardian.com