Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Soni Ventorum archives

I've been perusing the archives of the Soni Ventorum wind quintet the
last few days.. there is a lot of recorded material on this site,
including some (at least to me) rarely heard material:


The flutist is Felix Skowronek, a Curtis Institute student of William
Kincaid, and an important proponent of the wooden Boehm flute.

linked from this site is also the quintet on youtube:


I also found a recording of the Karg-Elert Bb sonata by Mr. Skowronek
via the wikipedia article on Karg-Elert. Interesting stuff.


enjoy, --Lars

Friday, May 16, 2008

choosing a flute for Irish music

Having chosen to go the Irish flute route, meaning an older style conical bore flute:

If you want to start practicing and playing irish tunes without putting out a whole lot of money, get a pennywhistle and start playing. 90% or so of all tunes can be done on the whistle, and the fingerings are the same as on a flute.

Keys or no keys?

The next step would be to get a keyless flute. There are a few available, and the good makers usually offer a keyless version of their keyed flutes, for considerably less money than a full 8-key instrument. The fingerings are the same as on the pennywhistle. With many of them you can 'fake' a G# and the F-natural well, by half-holing.

Getting into simple-system flutes with keys however, the important ones for Irish music more or less in order are the F-natural (it is nice to have both of them), the G#, the C and the B-flat. A C-foot is nice for the occasional low C (pretty rare). Probably the least used key is the Eb.

here are some samples from recent ebay auctions:
a nice Sam Murray flute with 4 keys

a full 8-key instrument by Grintner

keyless flute by M&E

Upcoming events:

Representing the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, baroque flutists Lars Johannesson and Alissa Roedig perform at the Santa Cruz River Arts Festival, Saturday May 17. This will take place on the outdoor stage (yes, with microphone) at 1:30. We will perform works by Telemann, Friedmann Bach, Michel Blavet, Boismortier and Martinu. For more information, see the festival's website: http://www.riverartsfestival.com

Flute students of Lars Johannesson perform on Saturday June 7th at 4pm at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Aptos. Works for flute (and baroque flute) with piano, cello and harpsichord accompaniment. Featured works are the Concertino by Cecile Chaminade, Hungarian Pastoral Fantasy by Franz Doppler, a Leclair sonata, bits from the Magic Flute and much more. Students are accompanied by Jonathan Salzedo on harpsichord, Don Adkins on piano, and Joel Schaefer on cello and Viola da Gamba. Admission is free to all and a reception will follow the event. St. Andrews is located on 9850 Monroe Avenue, Aptos, between the Rio Del Mar and Freedom Blvd exits.

"Sounds Like Flutes", a Santa Cruzian flute quartet perform a short early-evening concert on Sunday June 8th at St. John The Baptist Episcopal Church in Capitola. Directed by Lars Johannesson, the group will play works by Gary Schocker, Telemann and Barry Phillips, plus some arrangements of Irish traditional and American tunes. Program starts at 5pm, and a short reception will follow.

Suggested donation: $5-$10 to help keep us cover expenses. If you are a starving student or just plain broke, come anyway. St. John's is located on 216 Oakland Avenue, Capitola.

Letting you know that I'm working toward opening up a 1-day/week studio in Mountain View as I have had a number of requests to teach in the San Jose area. I you know of anybody over there looking for a general flute teacher, or somebody interested in Irish or baroque flute, I would appreciate the referral. The plan is to be at West Valley Music friday afternoons - early evenings.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

18th century flutist automaton

cool flute link for today:


J.J. Quantz mentions this fellow in his book, critically, in a discussion on how to blow correctly in order to play the higher notes on the instrument (the automaton isn't doing it properly).  Of course, the rest of us are just flabbergasted that somebody created such a machine in the first place, before electricity, microprocessors..

a contemporary version:

and the thing in action:

enjoy, --Lars
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Recently I had some thoughts about the nature of photography and photo gear, after reading a book about Alfred Stieglitz and looking at his work. It was a reminder that the latest and greatest in equipment isn't necessary to make great images, even sharpness isn't necessary.

But, that all depends on what you the artist and photographer want to do, of course. I'm sure a kid's soccer or hockey event could be done artfully with a Holga, but that's not what the client or other parents may be looking for as a regular feature. .

Recently I took a step sideways, and loaded up my Nikon F3 with Tri-X film. I got some keepers from that first roll, which inspired me to keep at it. Its a look I don't get trying color->Black&White conversions from my D70's digital files. Thankfully all the lenses I have work on it (no compatibility breaking 'G' or DX lenses in my bag yet). I know its been said before, but having only one roll of B&W film with me slows me down a bit, wanting to be sure about the image before pressing the shutter release.

some of the BW images were posted HERE

On the flip side, with the recent addition of the 80-400mm VR to my lens bag, I've done more bird photography and am running into some limitations of my digital body. So I appreciate and lust after the latest hi-tech gear as much as anyone else. Again, it all depends on the application, and what result you're after.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

blog, blog, blog

sczflutist and sczphoto. OK, that's me. On with it. --Lars