“I do not know why I was drawn to the Native American flute and still do not. I am a complete amateur but just love picking them up every now and again and bringing out some beautiful sounds that tend to mellow me out. I was lucky enough to meet Phil at the Healing weekend one year and could not keep going back to his stall to listen and try some of his flutes. After some deliberation, I decided to go full out and buy two flutes at the most top end of the price range even though I was a complete novice.
I am so glad I did as this was right for me My flutes are so mellow and rounded with no breathlessness. With practice, I can feel their quality really coming out as if they are almost playing themselves. I can now bend some beautiful notes which sound so sweet I am sure it is not me playing but the flutes doing all the hard work. they feel so deep and rich and I feel when I pick them up to play that a mistake is almost impossible because they play so beautifully. I can only say I am more than happy with my purchases even though I have limited experience with other flutes but you just know when you pick up one of Phil’s flutes you will not want to go home empty handed. I love mine so it is a good idea if you are thinking about a flute to try before you buy and make sure you try some of Phil’s before making that decision.”
Amberfern (Roger Brooks)
“I first met Phil when I was involved in recording a series of New Age albums for Real Music in San Francisco Bay. Up to that point, like many other artists, I had been using samples to simulate the sound of wooden flutes. Now I was seeking something much more organic and natural and began seeking out flute makers in England where I had my studio. I found Phil's website and made contact. Unlike other makers, he was immediately genuinely interested in what I was looking for and suggested that he would send me a flute and, if I liked it, I should simply send him the money for it, or send it back. This was a tremendously refreshing and trusting outlook and, of course, as soon as I had played the flute, I knew it would be perfect for what I wanted. It recorded beautifully, especially when close-miked near the decorative tied on top near the mouthpiece. The flute, recorded in this way, with just a touch of additional high EQ and a generous helping of smooth reverb was perfect. I started to use it on many tracks, and thus was born the wonderful and ongoing working relationship with Phil.
On my next album, Distant Horizons Mediterranean, I was composing several Eastern-influenced tracks and wanted a flute that was tuned to a particularly unusual Arabian scale. I could never get on with side-blown flutes, preferring the ease of the Native American mouthpiece arrangement... trouble was a Native flute with an Arabian scale system simply didn't exist anywhere in the world. However, that was no barrier to Phil. I got hold of a traditional flute, shared it with Phil, and working together, we came up with a brand-new design and it sounded absolutely perfect for my tracks. I think this has now become one of his product lines.
As time went on, in association with Phil's support, I built up quite a collection of his Red Kite flutes. It's well worth exploring a range of different keys, and I would encourage you to consider buying a range of them for this reason. Different keys, especially the lower ones encourage a different creative approach. Try a huge low C if you can!
I have always worked with Phil's simple cedar wood flutes, but I am looking forward in the future to experiencing some of the most beautiful woods that Phil makes flutes from... It's not just appearance either, different woods have widely varying and interesting tonal characteristics.
Currently, I'm embarking on a series of very Ambient style recordings, and I'm intending to sample the sounds of some of the flutes into the Electron Octatrack, and then manipulate the results to form the basis for background drones and soft pads. Phil's flutes are very versatile with some unusual potential. For example, they sound really beautiful slowed down and reversed with a soft tape delay!”