Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Audio - Sheridon Stokes


Dear Flute-lovers,

Sheridon Stokes (1935-2022) being interviewed with amazing flute audio!

In 2021 Sheridon spoke about his career as a studio musican in Hollywood, and his many collaborations with John Williams, composer.

Fabulous listening! Wow! So many of these flute solos are so familiar if you grew up as a movie lover too!


Wonderful interview. So well done! Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Summer re-start for me


Dear Flute-lovers,

Well you may have noticed the quietness of this flute-blog!! Yes, sorry....I've been taking a two year break from the flute, and am about to start playing again! I retired from Conservatory teaching during Covid lockdown (I'm now in my early 60s) and also stopped playing the flute in order to rest my left shoulder/forearm musician's injury. I spent quite a bit of the time outdoors, removing invasive plants from a natural park, and returning the native plants to their right habitat. So I got lots of fresh air. But I guess I'm back babeeee!  :>) And I surely have more time now than I did when I was teaching. 

I hope flutey folk will take this opportunity to ask flutey-questions, and to think about checking out Roger Mather's "The Art of Playing the Flute" (see right sidebar for more info.) I'd love to discuss the book, and even to go further with some of the ideas about embouchure formation and ease of octave changes etc.
So let me know your thoughts.
I can be reached by email at jen (at) jennifercluff (dot) com if you have a question that is not already answered on the blog or my main website (sitemaps and indexes abound), or you can use the comment button below. The blog comments are moderated, so yours may appear a few hours later, but with an answer!

I'd also love to start a chat about new flute sheetmusic of gorgeous repertoire that folk are enjoying. I feel strongly that the flute needs lots more lyrical/beautiful/gorgeous repertoire, and that we don't have enough.
So lots of thoughts as I begin to come back from my flute hiatus.
Happy June to everyone coming out of lockdown! It looks like we'll have a beautiful summer here on the coast; nice and cool!
Looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Playing Around with Nielsen

This past week many enjoyed the livestreaming of the Nielsen competition.

'Playing around with Nielsen' was one of the competition features. Each performer created their own flute piece based on fragments of Nielsen's compositions.

Violeta Gil Garcia's extraordinary performance of her composition "Camino" for solo flute was replayed at the awards ceremony. It includes extended technique as well as rhythmic foot stomping typical of her native Andalucia.

Very much worth seeing and hearing!! (video)

Comments are welcome as well as general flute questions!!

For example: does anyone else feel uncomfortable watching Violeta's flute tilt backward? I know she's fabulous, but those backward tilting keys make me think of my own arm injury from playing this way. Love to hear other teacher's thoughts on this.

And again, many thanks to Dianne Winsor for keeping us all up to date on the various flute competitions in Europe.


Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Rounds 2 & 3 of the Kobe flute competition

Dear Flutelovers,

All flute performance videos: https://kobe-flute.jp/en/video/ or on youtube here.

Round 2 and 3 of the Kobe flute competition have resulted in these finalists:

【1st Prize】



【3rd Prize】*

Marianna Julia ŻOŁNACZ


【5th Prize】


【6th Prize】

Joidy Scarlet BLANCO LEWIS

【Special Award】

For performance of the contemporary pieces

Mario BRUNO(work by  Pintscher)

Anna KOMAROVA(work by Ichiyanagi )

*no 2nd and 4th places were awarded.


Best, Jen

Thanks to Dianne Winsor for keeping us all up to date on the Kobe!

Monday, March 14, 2022

Podcast for when you're fired from the arts

Podcast for when you're fired from the arts

Dear Flutelovers,

If you've ever felt rejected after an audition....

If you've ever felt like giving up your art.....

If you've ever wanted so much to be a part of a artistic group, and found yourself on the outside of that group....

If you've ever worked very hard in a very tough field, and then had something inexplicably just not work out....even when it was supposed to be a sure thing....

Well then... as we're coming out of lockdown, you may want to hear this super interesting and funny podcast:

DeadEyes Podcast

I read about it first a few days ago in the news.

Tom Hanks fired a young actor, who then quits acting in despair. He goes to work in a bookstore in New York, and then re-enters the field as an improv comedian ten years later, develops a stand up comedy routine about being fired by Tom Hanks, and then tries to figure out why this all happened, twenty years later, from every possible angle, in a podcast.

It is GREAT work and I binge-listened to it. (There are over 30 short episodes) And unbelievably, the two men meet in the final episode and all is revealed!

You may think: Now Jen, just how is this flute related?

Well you'll soon understand from listening to the many episodes of this enjoyable show! I mean, naturally the so-called "entertainment business" includes classical musicianship AND acting, and agents, and bookings, and racing the clock, and , most unconquerable of all, (duh duh duh DUH!!)... subjective opinion.

Quote from the news article about "Dead Eyes" podcast:

"Although it’s overwhelmingly played for laughs – the construction of the podcast, excavating an old wound from every conceivable angle, gives it the feel of an investigative true-crime show. It’s beautifully done."


Episode 1

Episode 2 

Episode 3

continue in order here:

All episodes 

You'll need to scroll down to Oldest to listen in order.

Jen's fave episode for the Scotsman's story: Episode 10


Comments welcome!


Thursday, February 03, 2022

Masks for flute performing

Click on image to enlarge, or visit link below.
 Dear Flute-lovers,

As well as vaccines and boosters, some flutists are now being asked to perform while wearing face masks especially in seniors settings.

Although I haven't tried them myself, the top product at the moment is the flute mask made by the Broadway Relief Project. They are about $25 U.S. and come in black and beige, with a wire across the top edge to individualize the fit. You do have to leave your flute in place, rather than lowering it, while you're performing an entire piece, but apparently these are the best quality available at the moment.

Just thought I'd share the link here, so folks can find them:


Feel free to comment below if you've found other good quality performing masks for the coming challenges of ongoing Covid.  So much good live music is needed now. Happy masked music making! :>)


Tuesday, January 04, 2022

New Year's revival from Paul Edmund-Davies


Dear Flute-lovers,
I've been away from the computer working on healthy outdoor projects (removing invasive plants from wildlands nearby). And now the job is complete, and as proud as punch, and full of sausage rolls and home baking, I am back!

Sorry for those who were waiting avidly for flutey news. I really had to rest my flute injury (left scapula and left arm.) once and for all and do something completely different. 
So: a very happy 2022 to everyone!

 And hey, speaking of getting back into the swing of things, have you been getting the newsletters from the wonderfully fun-to-follow Paul Edmund-Davies? 
Wow. Such a buoyant attitude and so many brilliant ideas to keep flute practicing valid and meaningful.

To subscribe to the (often hilarious when he talks about London plumbing and country leaf-blowers) Simply Flute newsletter, just scroll all the way down to the bottom of any page at www.simplyflute.com and look for the Sign up to our newsletter. It looks like this and is free:

Currently, if you sign up for the newsletter, you'll see that Paul is re-visiting the "Resoflutions" exercises, and you get a free musical exercise in pdf in every newsletter to re-work these in a more leisurely and well-paced manner, perfect for a new year's come-back: Revisiting Resoflutions

The additional free pdfs and instructional materials for starving students are here:

It is very inexpensive to subscribe ($6. US per month) to receive access to all the materials and access to every single teaching resource on Simply Flute.
I'm definitely going to subscribe, so I thought I'd share the excitement with everyone! And I'm super interested in Paul's new Horn Studies by Gallay and the videos: Gallay Horn Studies for flute

Paul is doing an amazing job through the pandemic!!
Enjoy all the stuff at simplyflute.com

Best, Jen
PS. Congratulations to Paul for his October 2021 appointment at the Royal Academy of Music in London as "the Charles Nicholson Professor of Flute"!