Monday, October 15, 2007

Memories from a weekend with Xavier

Figure 1 - Xavier Quijas Yxayotl

Story by Antonio Silva, October 10, 2007

First let me start by telling you how I came to knowing about Xavier Quijas Yxayotl. I started playing the NAF (self taught) over a year ago and I was searching the internet for different ways on playing the NAF.

I came across the link to Robert "Tree" Cody and follow another link to his video performance of "Cross Roads". In this performance he was doing a duet with Xavier Quijas Yxayotl.

I took a look at Xavier flutes and said WOW! I got to have one of those. So I inquired with my internet friend "Google" searched and found Xavier's web page.

I did some more inquiring and got some information on the Clay Flute Making Workshop and registered for the workshop.

Now the day came for the workshop and being a “wood carver” I went into that day thinking I could make a triple flute right off the bat. Slow down..... I found out I had a hard time making my first ocarina.

So after my 5th ocarina, which making them became easier, I start my first flute. Rolling out the clay and placing it around the "template" was simple enough but when it came to making the mouth piece and tuning the flute, Xavier is a Master and was there to help everyone in class.

There were a few things that impressed me about Xavier during the workshop. First, he always started his workshop with a ceremony thanking everyone for being there and wishing everyone a great day. (see figure 2 below)

Figure 2 - Xavier during the opening ceremony.

When making our flutes and ocarina's Xavier was always going back to his roots and recalling the history and tradition of Mayan/Aztecan Flute Making.

Last but not least, we all hear news stories about these professional singers or band members and the bad ways they treat their fans. Well Xavier is NOT like them. Xavier is gracias, knowledgeable and overall a very nice man.

All in all, I made 5 ocarinas and 3 flutes. And yes, one of the flutes was a triple flute. (See figure 3 for a picture of all of the flutes made during the weekend workshop).

I'm looking forward to taking his next workshop.

Figure 3 - Xavier with all of the students creations from the weekend.

Xavier thank you for your time and patience.

I also want to give thanks to David Loo for organizing the workshop and for Nancy P. for allowing us to use her home for the workshop.

-Antonio S.

NOTE FROM MIKE: As Antonio wrote in his story, Xavier truly is a unique and wonderful spirit. We always welcome him with open arms when he visits Northern California. I hope that many of you will enroll in his flute making workshop the next time that we're able bring Xavier up for a visit. Thanks to Antonio for submitting this story about his experience at the recent clay flute making workshop with Xavier Quijax Xyxototl.

To read some past blog entries about Xavier, click here:

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