Flutes In The Valley

Contributed by Myke Bon

What is it about the Native American-style flute that draws us in when we hear it? I’ve been making flutes for 28 years and am still learning its awesome power. It started as a spiritual journey and became part of my life. 

Playing in the wild, wolves will often howl back and I’ve had moose, other animals and birds come to listen and relax as well. The flute draws at our ancestral strings taking us to a place we humans have forgotten over time: how to be connected to the world around us.  

I think the reason we are all drawn to the beautifully haunting sounds of the flute is because it helps us connect through sound, making us a part of the world around us rather a part from it. The flute is a magical instrument that is considered to be one of the oldest instruments in the world. No matter where your ancestral roots come from, there was undoubtedly a whistle or a flute connected to you somewhere in time.  

All my flutes are handmade in the traditional way coming from many sources: diamond willow, birch, cottonwood, cottonwood bark and spruce. The process involves finding the wood, locating the flute, splitting the wood with a knife and hollowing it out, all by hand.  The flute is then joined with a fetish (the sound piece) and given a voice.  

I also offer a travel flute called the “Flippin’ Flute” that goes anywhere and quickly becomes a travel partner.  Flippin’ Flutes are a great beginner flute and can be created in so many different expressive patterns.  

Part of my journey with the flute has been to make it available to everyone. I would like to offer the flute in the Matsu Valley, and would like to extend an invitation to all that are interested to join me and try the flute. Maybe you have picked up a flute somewhere on your journeys and just have not learned to play it. If that is the case, then join me at our local Flute Circle. I have several flutes for sale if you are looking to explore the world of the flute. Lessons are free! You can send an email to alaskaflutemaker@gmail.com to express an interest in the Flute Circle, and I’ll send you time and location.