I studied the flute with a number of teachers and over a number of years, given the technical work I do, I have been fortunate to have many leading teachers and flute makers, both nationally and internationally as my friends. I have consequently learnt an enormous amount from them. It is my purpose on the Fluteworx website to help communicate all the information I have learnt, to a new generation of flute players. Consequently I sponsor the Fluteworx website.
My most influential teachers were firstly Albert Honey doyen of British flute players and secondly Lesley Shiels, at one time principal of our National Symphony Orchestra.
Albert was one of the first English players to go to France, and consequently adopted the French playing style after World War II. He had a very distinctive sound which he passed on to his students. A sound which I have learned and developed and which I effectively build into the flutes I overhaul. My clients call it "that sound".
Albert also introduced me to Albert Cooper. Over the years I had a number of headjoint and flute making lessons with him and learnt the craft of headjoint making from the world's leading exponent, which has been invaluable to me.
I have an extensive knowledge of aerodynamics and acoustics.
I now work in collaboration with a number of international flute makers. I have a long-standing friendship and collaboration with David Wimberly of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and more recently a collaboration with David Straubinger, the famed inventor of Straubinger pads, and maker of Straubinger flutes. These collaborations are in the field of flute making, headjoint design and acoustics, and of course with David Straubinger in respect of his pads and padding processes.David Straubinger has recently visited me in R.S.A. to work on our joint projects.
My approach to headjoint making is to combine traditional methods and materials which I have learnt from Albert Cooper with a modern, scientific approach. In this regard I work with CAD packages, oscilloscopes, lasers and combine this with the ear, feel and handskills associated with being a practicing musician and a traditional craftsman. For me science and technology merge with art.
I am also proud to be the South African agent for Altus and Azumi flutes.