I happen to have pictures of all my quenas and quenacho's and will have to add my NAF's and other flutes another time. I also thought I'd give a little detail on the different makers. One of my fustrations getting into the quena was the lack of information to be found in English. Spend alot of time with google translator obtaining information. You'll also notice not a heck of alot of non-south american people sharing their art on youtube. I hope to do my part in filling that void with more time and energy.
Along the journey of playing NAFs and other world flutes, I somehow got totally distracted with the quena and quenacho. I spent most of my life playing jazz trumpet until I underwent a major life transition and what you might call a mystical experience. At some point, I realized I couldn't just ignore my musical past and wanted to find a world flute that would allow me a bit more harmonic expression. I felt the quena had the most untapped potential to play more western music. It's also a little more comfortable for me than a transverse flute although with practice I'm getting better. There are a couple of fellows from Peru who have taken the quena outside it's Andean paradigm and playing jazz and western popular music. I enjoy the Andean music in small doses and not enough to inspire me to play it as a primary focus.
For a flute that's just a tube with 7 holes and a notch each of them have a totally different character. The playability varies and sometimes tuning. So 1/2 of my quest was finding the perfect quena, bore size and ergonomics that I liked best. Not to mention figuring out how to play the darn things. When you are new at an instrument it's difficult to know what is the limitation of an instrument and the player. So early on, I wanted to try different instruments and in someways that can be a hinderance because of different embochures but in otherways it helped me. The small bore instruments allowed me to play the higher register quickly and understand the correct embochure and air flow dynamics that I could transfer to bigger flutes.
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Number of downloads: 65
1-5 Your run of the mill South American mass produced jobies. The first three Ramos being my favories. Ramos D quenacho, Ramos F quena and Ramos G quena with bone mouth piece and Jarcarda wood.
4 and 5. Tito Peru and Amaru. Again inexpensive, and don't get as much love as my others. They are not bad
but not special. The Amaru has a flat blowing surface that feels strange against my embochure.
6,7,8 These are new additions to my collection from a musician/Flutemaker from Peru-Checho.
( 1.99MB )
Number of downloads: 11
He is an amazing player and the only person that I've seen playing Bebop on the quena. His video's are on youtube I need some more practice. The other guy Kenna Extreme also an amazing player however, I had some trouble with our exchange. The language barrier adding to the difficulties. I contacted both of them because I needed to know what instruments they were playing Both make their own instruments I succesfully got Checho to make me three instruments. And I just recieved them. Now I know the ease in which he gets around the instrument and plays three octaves has alot to do with his mastery of the instrument. And his double and triple tonguing is clean. Here is a feature that Peruvian television did on his playing and flutemaking http://youtu.be/iFLfP_Ffb2Y
. A very intense and focused young man. Highly inspirational.
Pictures are of Quenacho D, Quena F and G. He mistakenly sent me a D quenacho and not an Eb like I ordered. An Honest mistake that he is rectifying. The D Quenacho is a monster but sounds beautiful. The only way I can play it comfortably is with the piper grip and sealing off the thumb hole with a piece of tape. The only thing that does is make it so I don't have access to the open octave and have to play it with all fingers closed which I don't do so much on my other flutes because of the octave stretch which you get on all these flutes which drove me absolutely crazy until one of the makers explained it to me and read the research on how a stretched octave actually sounds better to the ear. But something must be wrong with my ears because I liked the tuned octave.
9-10 Jeff Whittier custom made g quena and E quenacho purchased from Monty Levenson's website. They have a U shaped mouthpiece, unlaquered and a very organic earthy sound. More difficult on the higher register but well tuned.
11 Milton Zappata G quena. This is an interesting story. Tony Hinnigan, the UK flutemaker and who has played on the sound track of a great many movies recommended that I contact Milton Zappata. I believe he is 86 years old and lives in Paris. This is the most expensive of all my quena's because of the exchange rate and the cost of an international bank check. On top of that, he doesn't like to leave the house and go to the post office so as a rule he doesn't sell his quena's unless you visit him in Paris. That wasn't going to happen. So I had a friend who speaks French call him and act as my translator. He only speaks French and Spanish. She convinced him that the fate of the Western world was at stake and he agreed to send me one.
Oh my God, it took a couple of long conversations and confusion that I wanted a G quena. He calls it a LA quena because they play in a minor key. I asked the translator just to have him play the tonic note on the phone so we could finish up. So he ended up showing off his quena chops and not playing one long tone. Anyway, it was an interesting transaction that required alot of patience. But a very very nice gentleman. apparantly I have a place to stay if I ever go to Paris. His fingering his different and requires 1/2 holing the thumb hole to play the 7th and octave perfectly in tune and all closed holes is an octave stretch by a full 1/2 step. Tony Hinnigan calls it the Cadillac (or Mercedes) of Quena's on his video's on his website. Hmmmm, I think the alternate fingering takes it otu of the running for me but it is certainly an extremely sweet sounding and extremely playable quena. Relatively small bore. the bamboo from Japan is beautiful.
12. Erik the Flutemaker Quena. Gotta give this guy alot of credit. His personality and youtube video's must make him the business's guy in the flute business. Anyway, the quena is a pretty darn good sounding quena although a bit basic and after playing others for a while a bit small for my taste. He acknowledges that this is not his forte but as far as I am concerned a respectable instrument and not a bad first quena for somebody. Very basic notch.
13-19 These are IMHO the stars of my colletion.
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Number of downloads: 32
They are from Angel from Un Mundo De Bambu in Buenas Aires Argentina. I have included another photo of just the my Un Mundo flutes including my G Moseno. I intend to a fuller review of Angel, the small things he does differently with every aspect of the flute and the differences in some of the sounds I can get due to the different bore sizes and sometimes shape. Just as soon as I can get some sound samples finished. Picking the right bore size for your experience is important. It's taken me awhile and obviously quite a few quena's to find out what works for me best. But also with more experience and practice, I can play a broader range of instruments.
I've added a separate picture for my new additions, a custom made F with Mexican redwood and a custom made D quenacho. It is very Xiao like in it's quality. He custom made the quenacho for my hand size and also put the holes to the side for increased comfort!!
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Number of downloads: 18
#19 is indeed a custom made transverse flute with a custom mouthpiece. The fingering is the same as a quena because of the presence of a thumb hole. Angel also being extremely helpful with understanding some technical aspects of the instrument and was able to help me adjust my embochure to play these darn things in tune. I was about to jump off a building (not really) until he helped me.
20,21. These are from TheQuenaMaker aka theflutemaker who also makes wooden whistles, Tyronne Head. Rosewood and Cherry. I can't really make any comments on the quality of the instrument at this point because they play so differently than all the other quena's and I can't figure out what it is. The notch configuration, the bore size, small tone holes combination of all the above? I'm fairly convinced it's not the wood. See Un Mundo De Bambu's article on different woods he has with an engineer. Very similar conclusion that Geoffrey makes in another thread about the different sounds of different woods probably being a personal perception bias. The science is pretty convincing. I have not spent considerable time playing them because of the adjustment I have to make with my embochure and I still am developing my embochure so I don't want to spent too much time with them right now. I will come back to them.
This post has been edited by DaveNY: Apr 23 2012, 04:34 AM