Wednesday, June 09, 2021

To my subscribers - follow-it; feedburner

 Dear Subscribers to this very flutey blog, :>)

If you're a subscriber to my blog you receive every blog post as a new email with the subject: "The Lastest from Jennifer Cluff" in your inbox. This was a service offered using "Feedburner" which google is retiring at the end of June. Solution?

I will migrate my blog subscriber list automatically to a free service called ""  and then you won't have to subscribe again when the widget changes on this page. Do nothing and you'll still automatically get emails every time I update my blog. Currently there are 667 subscribers to this flute blog, (as well as 200 more who subscribed but never saw the confirmation email, because it got lost in a spam folder, or for whatever reason). Just to let you know that email updates might look a little different, and they will tack on a postscript that says "if you enjoyed this you might also enjoy reading that"; Which we can all ignore if it's off-topic.

The "subscribe to Jen's blog" widget will look a little different too, and anyone NEW who wants to subscribe will have an easy way to just "click to subscribe" using "" and just confirm it with a follow-it email confirmation.

I'm not moving the URL of the blog, of course. Everything still the same place. (someone misread and thought I was moving the URL links. No worries! :>)

Got one vaccine so far and am looking forward to September and an autumn of Flutey-Return this year after pandemic-o'mania!

Best, Jen

Saturday, May 22, 2021

New Flute Podcast from Northern Ireland

 Dear Flutelovers,

I had a lovely long listen today to several episodes of the new podcast from Northern Ireland:

The first episode I heard was: Jennifer Sturgeon.

Hers is a great tale! And the moment was captured on film!

12 year old wins BBC Musician of the Year (video)

And Jennifer Sturgeon is featured in an Irish Flute Band film at age 13 too. (video)

Northern Irish Flute Ensemble Documentary; Jennifer's background to winning that BBC competition: (set to start at minute 28 at Jennifer's segment, but all interesting.)

I was also fascinated to hear what the Galways are doing in lockdown:

James & Lady Galway in Lockdown Interview.

And I enjoyed this interview of an artist who follows both classical and Irish traditions: Eimear McGeown Interview.

The flutist who is doing the interviewing is Aisling Agnew. What a lovely player!

Libertango by Piazzolla (video)

Great stuff! So do enjoy all the interviews of interesting Northern Ireland players and makers. There are all sorts of ways to listen to the podcast on the move etc.

Series 1 All Episodes:

Comments welcome! I really found this flutey history and camaraderie refreshing!!


Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Thanks so all who wrote such kind words!

Dear Flute-lovers, 
 Today a surprise Retirement Gift arrived that included wonderful words in a framed thank-you poster, (wine/card/cup) and many lovely, lovely flowers. 
They were socially-distance delivered to my house, and I cried
 (of course I cried; the words the words!) 
Apparently my past flute students furnished all the words.
 And the Executive Director put all their words together with the flowers and the quiet and kind delivery. How wonderful!

Click on pictures to enlarge.
Thankyou everybody. I am so touched!

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Interesting bits of March

 Dear Flute-lovers,

As March indeed marches toward Spring ( which is feeling so springy!) here are three things of interest: a flute performance that is stunningly beautiful, then something informative for beginner and novice flutists about hand position, and finally something wise and real for the experienced flutist...a mystery solved. Enjoy!


1. Interesting and Beautiful!

Jen says: I mean...why tie yourself in knots about breathing, when you are making such meaningful music? 

Emily Beynon, flute & Emil Holmström, piano

Debussy: Prelude for the Afternoon of a Faun for flute and piano (video)

(the performance video will start at the Debussy flute/piano duo at end of recital)


2. Photos for Flute Novices and Beginners

A picture is worth a thousand words; hand position on the flute: Flutetalk article with photos!


3. Wise words from what is true, for the experienced Flutist:

Why Paul Edmund-Davies really left the London Symphony: Fluteview article. 


Comments welcome! (they take a few minutes/hrs. to appear as they are read by me first, before appearing here.) All the best for a happily relieved Spring!! :>)


Sunday, February 28, 2021

Paula Robison - Moyse as Mentor

Dear Flutelovers,

I'm just so glad that a member of one of the flute email groups alerted us to this inspiring interview with Paula Robison. Excellent! Love the mood!

Have a lovely listen! It's called the Muse Mentors podcast and here's the flute episode:

 Karen Kevra interviews Paula Robison about her mentor: Marcel Moyse

Enjoy! Jen

Friday, February 19, 2021

An insightful article for every flute level


Dear Flute-lovers,

This month there are some more great free articles to read from Flutetalk Magazine! I've chosen three, below.

This Magazine is continuing to offer free flutey reading during lockdown, and there is an article of interest to every level of flutist in the past 10 months of publication:  See all free flute articles from Flutetalk here, and click on any issue from March 2020 to February 2021.

February Issue 2021:

Firstly, this is a great, simple way to look at finger co-ordination and balance: article 1.

And I absolutely LOVED this article that explains so much about how air-pressure and amount of air used are figured out when you're working alone, without a teacher, and using a recording machine to listen back to one feature at a time: article 2.

And finally, truly musical inspiration:

There's a third article on how to use Marcel Moyse's  Book: Tone Development Through Interpretation. I worked through some of this book during my final two years at University (eek: 1980s!), and am super super interested in continuing to investigate all the musical sources that are now online to listen to!

See the book: Tone Development Through Interpretation: (sample pages at Fluteworld.) And the cover of this well-known publication is below left.

And here is an informative quote from this month's article in Flutetalk: How to Use Moyse's Opera Melody Book. 

And even more excitingly, here's the original Forward in translation from the Moyse Society!

(quote from the Flutetalk article):

"Tone Development develops a desire in students to play with artistry. Those who regularly and consistently play these melodies as beautifully as they can will reach for all the subtleties and emotions they can summon from all the music they play.

   Students who have not heard the operas performed will benefit from working with the book, but only with knowledge of the text, plot, and accompanying harmonies can they fully benefit from these melodies. After many years of working with the book I decided to listen to every opera in it. If recordings were available I taped each melody, summarized the story of each scene, and copied the relevant section of the libretto. This was the only way I could fully explore the emotional shades expressed in each excerpt, and I think this study brought my playing to a new level. Students should at least find a few recordings with full libretti. Perhaps some enterprising person will write a companion volume to Tone Devel¬≠opment and include piano reductions and a C.D." (end quote)


Gosh, I really hope someone takes up this idea and creates piano reductions on a CD/mp3 for these hundred or more short excerpts from the Opera repertoire. That would be amazing!!

Here is a link to Moyse recordings on youtube (if you've never heard them before....get ready and prepare your ears for recording techniques from 1910!! doh!).

And as discussed in the Moyse Flutetalk article, again,  the Forward to TDTI from The Moyse Society Newsletter on how best to utilize the book ( taken from the 1986 translation) is well worth printing out to put inside your copy of the book. (download pdf).

And to inspire those who wish to make their flute sound like singers, let this performance inspire you; it gave me goosebumps! (video)

Bellini's Norma - Aria sung with incredible control of the airstream.

Here's the flute and piano version of the opening (click on jpg to enlarge):

Arranged by Cottignes as theme & variations

Enjoy these free articles, and this Opera insight. It's a true exploration of our musical history and language! And do check out the first and second articles linked above for great explanations of basic skills as you develop your flute playing to a whole new level. We have the time, we just need the insights!

Comments welcome.

Best, Jen

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Alison Fierst & Robert Langevin interviews


Dear Flute-lovers,
Fabulous listening online! A new, young fabulous flutist has joined the New York Philharmonic and what a wonderful set of interviews!!

Principal Chairs:  interview with Alison Fierst, a facebook (video).
(NB: you don't have to join facebook to see Principal Chairs Flute videos. Just click "not now" when it's offered.)

Jan 13 2020 interview with Alison Fierst: (audio only video)

Jan 6 2020 interview with Robert Langevin: (audio only video)

And as she is a great lover of Alto Flute tone colours and low register, have a listen to Debussy's Beau Soir performed by Alison Fierst (video)

Best, Jen