Keyed KONTRAptions

Keyed Kontraptions: Kris King (contraforte) and I (contrabass flute)

Keyed Kontraptions: Kris King (contraforte) and I (contrabass flute)

Because it's fun to play cool stuff on unusual instruments, Kris King and I decided to start a group. We only have one piece written for us so far (video below) but we hope to change that in the near future.

Check us out: http://keyedkontraptions.com

Keyed Kontraptions performs Strawocktopuss by Joseph Columbo Meerenai Shim - Contrabass Flute Kris King - Contraforte

Matthew Joseph Payne

Me and Matt Payne after our performances at Rockage 2.0 in 2013.

Me and Matt Payne after our performances at Rockage 2.0 in 2013.

My good friend and collaborator, Matt Payne, released another album today. I've been a huge fan of his since 2011! And it's with a fanatic's delight that I share with you that my flute playing is on a handful of these tracks!!! 

Matthew Joseph Payne: Tension & Release

I met Matt Payne in 2011. He was writing instrumental parts for Jonathan Mann's "Song A Day: The Album" and I showed up on the last day of tracking. Then at Jonathan's CD release show, Matt's band, The Glowing Stars, was one of the opening bands. I was blown away. Matt was (and still is) an incredible performer and this was my first exposure to chiptune music. I found out that he was responsible for The Glowing Stars' Gameboy sounds. After that performance, I knew that I needed Matt's music for the flute. I needed his flute and Gameboy music!!!! After that night I started sorta stalking him on Facebook and emailed him to see if he'd write a piece for me. I didn't hear anything for an entire month (I just confirmed this in my old emails!) and was starting to get a little worried. Then, one day, the ball started to get rolling on my first Matthew Joseph Payne commission.

Since then, Matt has written a couple more pieces for me and A/B Duo. I've been a part of his band off and on when he was just Matthew Joseph Payne, and after the band became The Mineral Kingdom. I'm sad to say that it's been quite a while since I've performed with Matt. I hope he will get the band back together one day! But for now, Matt has released another excellent album of tunes.

"Tension & Release is a collection of songs which date back as far as 6 or so years ago, featuring a wide variety of musicians and collaborators. Most are new, original songs, two are covers of songs by artists near and dear to me. They all offer a solid representation of the MJP/TMK era." - Matthew Joseph Payne

I play on a handful of tracks on this album but my favorite tracks have no flute in them. Track 4 is called "PAWHAMMER" and it has a delicious 80's kind of sound with some of the signature MJP banjo and noise bits mixed in. "Pandatron 20X8" (track 6) was one of the songs The Mineral Kingdom used to play but we never got around to recording it. This version is Matt's original solo version. My favorite part of Pandatron is the Mike Patton-esque section at the end. In the liner notes Matt explains that "T. H. E." (track 7) was written in response to an online challenge to create a song which incorporated the following in 48 hours: "Two different Lord of the Rings related songs (the title of this piece stands for "Taking the Hobbits to Eisengard"), A song written by the person delivering the challenge (unfortunately I lost the song and the person's identity when 8bc shut down), salsa (the style of music, not the food), jumpstyle (also a style of music, which I had to google), my drumset." I don't know anyone else who could compose and perform such a well-crafted mashup within 48 hours. This is why I became an instant Matthew Joseph Payne fan in 2011.

Areon Flutes

I'm very pleased to announce that I've joined the award-winning Areon Flutes as a regular member. I had been an acting member for the 2015-16 season and have played with them a couple times before that. It's been a wonderful experience to perform with these amazing musicians and I look forward to contributing to the future of this great organization.

Areon Flutes, celebrating after recording our next album.

Areon Flutes, celebrating after recording our next album.

About Areon Flutes

The award-winning Areon Flutes provides audiences a fresh outlook on traditional chamber music.  Noted for innovative programming and collaborations, Areon is a premier chamber music ensemble based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The group's performances are known for creatively engaging its audiences with unique staging, theatrics, choreography, and using all members of the flute family.

Areon Flutes members Jill Heinke Moen, Kassey Plaha, Meerenai Shim, and Sasha Launer and guest artists have received high praise for their remarkable performances.  Their New York debut in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in September 2007 received rave reviews: "These players know what kind of new music pleases audiences and critics alike" and "The group itself was memorable; they are a treat to all the senses" (Anthony Aibel , New York Concert Review).  In May 2008, Areon Flutes was awarded the Bronze Medal at the prestigious and internationally recognized Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in Notre Dame, Indiana.  This recognition marked the first time in the competition's 35-year history that a flute chamber music ensemble reached this elite position.

Part of Areon's mission is to make flute chamber music an equal voice in the chamber music world by leaving a new, diversified chamber music legacy.  To ensure this goal, Areon has established an International Chamber Music Composition Competition, an intensive Summer Flute Institute, and a year-round Chamber Music Institute, based in the San Jose metropolitan area.  As a non-profit organization, Areon is dedicated to sharing its passion for chamber music through various educational programs including concerts, camps, and free community and school performances.

Areon recently released their third album, Thrive, featuring commissions from Elainie Liliios, Cornelius Boots, and Mike Sempert on the Innova label. Areon Flutes are proud to be Miyazawa Artists.

Areon Flutes, after our performance of Broken Birds by Danny Clay at the NFA convention in San Diego in August 2016.

Areon Flutes, after our performance of Broken Birds by Danny Clay at the NFA convention in San Diego in August 2016.

Nagahara Full Concert flute for sale

UPDATE Dec 20, 2016: The flute has been sold!

I am selling my beloved Nagahara Full Concert model flute that I've had since 2005. This flute and I have recorded 4 full-length CDs (and many smaller recording projects) and performed many concerts all over the United States together. I am the first and only owner. I picked out the 14k gold head joint made by Kanichi Nagahara at the Nagahara headquarters near Boston. This flute has been loved and it has served me very well. I am so sad to part with this beautiful instrument but I must for financial reasons.

Right now, I'm hoping for a local (San Francisco Bay Area) buyer but I will consider any serious offers in the USA.

This flute is perfect for solo playing. It projects beautifully over an orchestra and I would keep it for playing concerti if I could afford to. I have had much luck playing it in chamber music settings and it blends really well with other flutes and woodwinds too. There's a reason why Nagahara Flutes have such a solid reputation. The mechanism is the absolute best. Kanichi Nagahara is one of the best headjoint makers in the world. I hope someone else can give it a good home and perform many more concerts with it. 

More details:

  • Price: $16,000 (A new flute with the same specifications, made in 2016, would cost $22,720)
  • Nagahara Full Concert model flute
  • Serial #449
  • 0.950 silver body with 14k gold head joint ("DA" cut, I think).
  • open hole (French style) keys
  • Custom C# touch piece (made by Nagahara)
  • soldered tone holes
  • pointed key arms
  • A=442
  • off-set G
  • C# trill key
  • D# roller
  • low B foot with gizmo key
  • Comes with original case and case cover in good condition.
  • Bonus: Includes additional custom-made locking double case made by Wiseman Cases which will fit this Nagahara Full Concert flute plus a metal piccolo (I never used this as a double case with piccolo so please try it out w/ your piccolo to confirm.).

The flute is in excellent mechanical/playing condition and there are no dents. Overhauled by Nagahara Flutes in 2015. There are very minor cosmetic scratches that do not effect the sound/mechanism and they are not noticeable unless you are looking for them. There is one section of the body with stubborn tarnish.  

Please contact me at flutemusic@gmail.com if interested.

For your GRAMMY consideration

My album is on the first round ballot for the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards®. 

PHEROMONE is on the ballot for:

Classical Instrumental Solo

Track Number 1, Fractus III: Aerophoneme for flute and live electronic sound by Eli Fieldsteel is on the ballot for: 

Contemporary Classical Composition