Saturday, July 21, 2007

Valley Clan Flute Circle, July 28

All of us in the NCFC send our best to Napa flutemaker Brian Revheim with the tragedy of his house, which burned last month. Fortunately, the fire was contained to the house, so his workshop and livelyhood were spared. He also was fortunate to have his flute inventory in his truck at the time of the fire.

Brian has moved to a new home and is hosting the Valley Clan flute circle this month.

When: Saturday, July 28
Time: 3-5 PM
Where: Brian's house in Napa

For directions: Email Lynn Peck or Brian Revheim

Lynn's email: valleyclan AT naflute DOT com
Brian's email: b.v.revheim AT sbcglobal DOT net
Phone: 707-255-7425

Still a chance to go on the Pow Wow cruise with Mary Youngblood

There are still rooms available on the Pow Wow cruise!!

What: West Coast PowWow Cruise with Mary Youngblood
When: September 22-27, 2007 [Fixed the date...]
Cost: From $429 per personFor more information:

Contact: Dave UnderwoodPhone: 877-369-2232
Email: david AT powwowcruise DOT com

Earlier blog posting:

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Green Music Network invites you to a Hang Concert

You are invited to experience the remarkable sound and spirit of the Hang, a new instrument out of Switzerland that is in resonance with the world . . . . played by the the best of the bay area. This event is a Benefit for the Green Music Network and its Cave Concert Series . . . . . .

  • Alan Tower - multi-instrumentalist & composer
  • Gary Muzynski - master rhythmist and music facilitator
  • Ananda Lahri Sarasvati - Italian mutli-instrumentalist & producer
  • Matt Venuti - multi-instrumentalist leader of the Venusians

When: Saturday August 18th
Time: 7:30pm doors open 7:00pm
Cost: Donation of 15.00 - 20.00 (split between the artists and GMN)
Where: John & Deena Coveney's place
2303 Grant St Berkeley, CA 94703
Beautiful indoor space and large outdoor nature courtyard.

Register: Send email to: gmnconcert818 AT speakeasy DOT net

Include the number of people attending. You will receive back all the details for the evening. Register early if possible.

Food: Sharing food with each other fosters community. Bring something from a favorite culture for just 2 people or more and a small card identifying the food or dish name and which part of the world it comes from. e.g. Black Quinoa - South America

Learn more about the Green Music Network here:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Jeff Ball's Electronic Press Kit

Hey all you musicians out there. Check out Jeff Ball's Electronic Press Kit on SonicBid. It's a interesting new way to put your press kit and music online for promoters and others to hear and understand your music.

Jeff's website:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Utah 2007: College of Eastern Utah

One of the serendipidous side trips on our Utah adventure was on the road from Moab to Salt Lake City, as we drove through the town of Price, UT. It was about 3 hours into the trip that day, when we hit Price and saw the billboard advertising the "Prehistoric Museum" at the College of Eastern Utah (CEU). Well the kids were ready for a break so we stopped.

But the dinosaur bones aren't the story here, I walked in and was blown away to find an exhibit highlighting the recent discovery of a 200 year old Native American Flute which was found in the southwest. WOW. I posted about this discovery in an earlier post this year, but I hadn't planned this into our trip...

Below are some pictures of the exhibit. They don't have the actual flute on display, but a replica was produced to show what the flute might have looked like. The actual artifact is in a couple pieces, so it will never be playable. CEU has the curator rights to the flute, although the research is being done by a group in Moab.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Utah 2007: A Personal Journey, Arches

Arches National Park was the last National Park which we visited on our trip. And just when I thought that I was numb to all of the beauty which Utah has to offer, Arches is not just another National Park. The spectacular beauty of this park is again unique to Arches. The other aspect of this park is that it really is spread out, you need to drive a bit to get to each of the different formations.

It was a hot day, so we decided to see what we could see from the car at arches, and you can see quite a bit from the car. We did get out and hike the short hike up to the Windows arches. We also hiked the short hike to see Pine Tree Arch, in the Devils Playground.

The next morning, I once again got up early to beat the heat and to shoot a sunrise photo session. We were staying south of Moab in the KOA campground, so I had to get up 1.5 hours before the sunrise to drive all the way to the Devils Playground parking lot and then hike 20 minutes to the Landscape Arch for my photo session. The first thing that I realized what that my 35 mm lens was not wide enough to capture Landscape Arch (seen in the picture below), from the spot I wanted to shoot, so I had to quickly backtrack up the trail a bit to find a suitable spot to capture the entire arch. Again, I shot film, so I don't have my pictures back yet.

After the photo session with Landscape arch, I hiked up to Wall Arch and then on to Navajo Arch (all in the Devils Playground) to capture them on film. On my way back out of the park, I stopped to take a photo of the Petroglyphs near Wolfe Ranch. These Petroglyphs depict men on horseback alon with what appears to be a dog or wolf and long horn sheep. These petroglyphs on on the trail to Delicate Arch, but they are only a few hundred yards from the parking lot, so you can easily view them without a long hike.

I think that my favorite arch in the whole park has to be Delicate Arch, as cliche as that may be (given that Delicate Arch is an icon for the whole state of Utah). Delicate Arch (seen in the picture below) is just spectacular for a couple of reasons:

  1. It's not an easy hike to see it. (Definitely DON'T do this hike starting in the afternoon if it's a hot day, there is little to no shade on the 1.5 mile hike)

  2. It stands in the middle of a huge slickrock ampitheater

  3. It really looks precarious, like it's ready to fall at any moment.

I took out my flute and played a song or two in tribute to this wonderful place. The sound in the ampitheater surrounding Delicate Arch is great. (Hint: nothing shuts up a group of loud German tourists like a Native American Flute being played live...)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Utah 2007: A Personal Journey, The Flute Store

In the middle of Utah, just off of Highway 12, before it joins Highway 24 (near Torrey UT and Capitol Reef National Park) I was drawn like a moth to this HUGE Native American Flute outside of The Flute Store run by Vance and Elaine Morrell.

They are fortunate to have a great location, right on highway 12. We stopped and checked out the store, and I chatted with Elaine for a long time. Vance keeps his flute workshop right on the property and the store was stocked with Vance's flutes (as well as a few other makers). The store also has a lot of other souvenirs. Turns out that their biggest business isn't the drive by tourists, but rather the wholesale business. They sell a really inexpensive, entry level flute. You can even buy it unfinished (complete, but without finish). This would be a great option for a flute workshop or class with a boy or girl scout troop, camp, kids class. I don't have their wholesale pricelist yet, but Elaine assured me that they can deliver their entry level flutes, in volume purchase, for less than $20 each. So if you are looking for an inexpensive solution for an upcoming workshop you are presenting, I encourage you to contact Elaine and Vance.

Of course, they also make highend flutes and Elaine is a wonderful woodburn artist (although you won't find this service published on the pricelist, so you need to ask Elaine personally to woodburn a flute for you...)

Here's their contact info:

The Flute Store
Vance & Elaine Morrill
P: 435-425-3144
E: vancem AT scinternet DOT net

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Utah 2007: A Personal Journey, Bryce Canyon

In the middle of our Zion Roadtrip, we stopped by Bryce Canyon. It's a funny thing, everyone asks "what's your favorite park in Utah"? It seems to me that each park has a different influence on different people. After visiting so many beautiful places in such a short span of time, I could feel the "magic" that each of these places brought over the visitor. Bryce Canyon was no different, and quickly casts its "spell".

My memories of Bryce Canyon are pretty significant, even though we were only there for two days and a night. We happened to be at Bryce on the evening in which they present the "Dark Skies" ranger program - one reason to ALWAYS check in at the visitor's center of the park when you arrive. The Dark Skies program was a one hour presentation on the growing light pollution on the planet. It turns out that southern Utah is one of the few remaining "Dark Sky" area's in the US (even though the lights from Vegas were visible on the horizon). After the presentation, the visitors convened at the Visitor Center, where 4 telescopes were setup. The rangers turned off all of the lights in the Visitor Center parking lot to make it as dark as possible. We then had the chance to view the Moon, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn (all four were in the sky that evening...). Wow!

The next morning, I got up extra early for a photo session at Bryce as the sun came up. It was incredible, definitely one of my favorite mornings of the trip. I strongly encourage you to not miss the sunrise at Bryce the next time you're there. I took several rolls of film but I haven't developed them yet. I can't wait to see the results. I did take the one picture below on my digital camera...

After the sunrise photo session, I hiked down the Navajo trail to Wall Street, a narrow slot canyon in the middle of Bryce. Due to a rock fall earlier this spring, half of Wall Street was closed, but I sat down at the bottom of Wall Street, took out my flute and played for a long time. It was really fun to see the reaction of folks who had hiked behind me as the arrived at the canyon bottom to discover the source of the music.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Examples of Xavier Quijas Yxayotl's flutes

In anticipation of the upcoming flute making workshop with Xavier Quijas Yxayotl, I wanted to post a few pictures of some of Xavier's work. The picture above show's his famous Fire Flute (see the earlier blog posting about the controversy which this flute caused at the INAFA convention last year).

The following pictures show some of Xavier's flute collection which I snapped at the INAFA convetion last year. Xavier's handcrafted flutes sell for hundred's of dollars. Xavier makes both vessel flutes (e.g. ocarina inspired creations) as well as clay flutes played like a Native American Style flute. Note that Xavier is of Huichol heritage from Mexico, so all of his music and instruments are inspired by this rich tradition\ as well as the tradition of the Mayan and Aztec's.

You can also view some of the vessel flutes for sale on Xaviers website:

Friday, July 06, 2007

Clay Flute Making Workshop with Xavier Quijas Yxayotl

Dave Loo is coordinating another 2 day clay flute making workshop with Xavier Quijas Yxayotl. Dave hosted a workshop earlier in the year and everyone who attended had a wonderful time with this master of flute making. Xavier is a busy guy, but the Northern California Flute Circle holds a special place in his heart so he is excited to be coming back to NoCal for another flute making workshop.

At the last workshop, folks made both ocarina's and clay flutes. Xavier is a master craftsman and loves to share this craft. I don't think that I have ever met a more humble man than Xavier, you will leave this event with memories for a lifetime.

Because of the nature of working with clay and crafting the instruments, this will be a two-day event. RSVP early and get that vacation request in! While Xavier is in town, we'll also host him for a concert in Palo Alto on the evening of September 28th. If you are unable to attend the workshop, be sure to attend the concert. You won't be disappointed.

What: Two-Day Clay flute making workshop
When: Sept 29th & 30th
Where: Site in San Jose (RSVP for exact details)
Cost: $300, deposit of $200 by Aug. 10th.

To RSVP, contact Dave Loo at: ravenloo AT comcast DOT net
or call: 415-810-2169

Concert details:
What: Xavier Quijas Yxayotl in concert
When: Sept 28, 7:30
Cost: Donation
Where: Unity church in Palo Alto
Address: 3391 Middlefield road, Palo Alto

Return to Moaning Caverns with Mary Youngblood

Save the date! The Loping Wolf Clan is returning to Moaning Cavern next month for another exciting flute circle underground at the Moaning Cavern. For those who are not familiar, Moaning Cavern is a "big hole in the ground", literally, you have to take a set of stairs into the ground to get to the cavern floor. Mary Youngblood recorded her first album, The Offering, live in Moaning Cavern and it holds a special place in her heart.
As far as flute playing goes, there is nothing as spectacular as playing in Moaning Caverns, with the sound bouncing off the walls. We'll have the place to ourselves, so we can enjoy all of the music. Bring your family for this magical event!

This is your opportunity to join Mary, the Loping Wolf Clan and the rest of the Northern California Flute Circle for what's becoming an annual event.

When: Saturday, August 11

Time: TBA

Details: Check the Loping Wolf website for the latest.

RSVP: To RSVP, send an email to: lopingwolf @ naflute DOT com

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Utah 2007: Zion National Park

The first thing to be said for Zion National Park is that it is really accessible. I was amazed at how easy the drive was from Las Vegas to Zion/Springdale UT.

The mileage from Northern California to Zion is just around 700 miles, and this leg of the road trip could be done in a day, that is if you aren't pulling a trailer and packing kids. We, however, took three days to get to Zion, stopping for our first night in Tonopah, Nevada and the second night in Las Vegas.

We setup our base camp at the Zion Canyon Campground, and because I had reserved a site 6 months earlier, we scored a campsite right on the Virgin river. The kids loved this spot as it provided the opportunity to 'raft' down the river each afternoon. June isn't quite high season, so reservations at the Zion Canyon Campground aren't a necessity, but the camp hosts did say that you'll need reservations from July - September.

We stayed at Zion for four nights, using this as a base camp to explore Zion National Park, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.

There is so much to see in Zion, lot's of awesome hikes, including the Narrows and Angels Landing. However, we chose not to do the Narrows hike (nor Angels Landing) on this trip, it'll have to wait for a future adventure.

This was my first visit to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It's an amazing view from there, since it's the highest point in the canyon. From the lodge, you have an amazing view. If you're not into camping I would definitely recommend staying at the lodge. Unlike the desert fauna of the South Rim, the North Rim has pine trees and an alpine feel to it. It was also cooler, in the 80's while we were there.

My kids both became "Junior Rangers" at the North Rim Ranger Station, and at all of the subsequent parks we visited on the trip. If you have kids or grandkids with you (under 12), then the Junior Ranger program is a great way to get the kids involved in the park. It's kind of like a scavenger hunt for clues about the parks history and features. The kids get a workbook to complete about each park.

Coral Pink Sands Dunes State Park is an out of the way state park, which would be a major desistination if not for all of the other parks surrounding it. It's outside of Kanab, between Zion and the Grand Canyon. If you are an off road vehicle enthusiest, this would be heaven. The unusual feature of this park (besides the huge piles of sand), is the pink color of the sand. The sand is blown in for the erosion of the red dirt native to this area. Basically, Coral Pink is the dumping ground for all of the dirt/sand which has eroded from the land features in Southern Utah.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Utah 2007: A Personal Journey

While many of you traveled to Zion for the 2007 Zion Canyon Flute Festival, I was unable to attend the event this year since the kids didn't get out of school until the following week. However, I had been planning to take a road trip through Southern Utah for the last year and it just didn't work out for us to be in Zion for the event this year. We did spend two weeks on the road, including 4 days in Zion, along with other parks in Utah. I took lot's of pictures and played my flute a ton. It was definitely a relaxing vacation.

Nothing is more fun than finding a shady spot next to the trail and playing the Native American Flute for folks as they come along the trail. I am sure many of you have similar stories of playing along the trail (feel free to share them in the comments). I greeted the sunrise several times at some pretty spectacular places.

I plan to post several blog entries of our trip along with some of my favorite photos of the trip and the places we visited. There were a couple of serendipidous things that happened which I can't wait to share with all of you, but I'll save the details and story for a future blog entry.

Zion Journey: A Documentary

Tim Romaro, a member of the Central Coast Flute Circle, is producing a documentary titled: "Journey to Zion: A Native American Flute Festival". On the documentary he includes many interviews with flute players who attended this years event.

Tim plans to premiere the film in Guadalupe, California this fall (exact dates TBA). If you have a story from this years event which you would like to share with Tim, I encourage you to contact him.

A trailer and more information about the movie can be found at:

You can reach Tim at: tromero AT theflutecircle DOT com