There have been so many changes and improvements to the Boehm flute since he introduced his design, it’s impossible to describe them all in a short time. I can recommend some excellent books on the subject if you’re inclined to study them. It seems that our modern flute has been improved and studied with more interest and enthusiasm than any other wind instrument. One big advantage is the fact that it’s been made of metal instead of wood. Having an all metal instrument gives us the possibility of complete control over the features that can’t be controlled in wood very well. This puts our metal flute in the same class as a mechanical clock or music box.
It’s interesting to me that we have this connection between Switzerland and Vermont. The environment is very similar – rural and mountainous, not too far from civilization but far enough to be peaceful and natural. This area has a historic culture they call “Yankee” ingenuity and “Precision Valley” that correspond with the Swiss. Our dedication to a clean environment has made Vermont a leader in conservation, recycling, and “Green” business practices. Driving into Vermont you probably won’t notice the difference in the landscape right away, but sooner or later you’ll realize that we don’t have any billboards or those huge signs that litter the lands all around the US. My shop, for example, is an expanded garage on the side of our home, and you wouldn’t know it’s here unless you have the directions. NO SIGNS! Vermont has a lot of such small home businesses that you wouldn’t know were there unless you have some previous contact with the owners.
There are some real advantages to living and working in one place. For example, no need to commute and burn more gasoline. Working at home puts me close to the family where I have ample time to spend with my kids and my wife, especially since I’m not driving to work and back. We built the shop with a grandparents’ apartment upstairs, which gives our extended family time to work and play together. Home school was a natural path for our kids, because Marcie and I were both close to the children when they were growing up. Each of our kids had plenty of time to learn how to sing and play music together every day. We actually gave a few family concerts together to earn money for private lessons and for their instruments.
Each season brings a variety of beauty, climate, day/night ratios, holiday festivals, and challenges anew. I love the birds! You can listen to our song birds on my “Birds of Williams Hill” .mp3 recordings. Listen while you read – just TURN IT UP! Download what you want. I love the crickets at sunset, and the coyotes howling at night. The deer forage for food and the black bear scarf up the bird’s seed if they can.
Mt. Mansfield just beyond us!