Mr. Johnson’s Flute

image-assetIn 2022, my flute will be 100 years old. What music has it played, listened to, dreamed of? What kind of life has it lived? What kinds of stories could it tell me?

This flute, built by the Rudall Carte company, was completed in July 1922. Made of cocuswood with German silver keys by a flute maker named Kurzendorfer, it was sold on August 3, 1922 to a Birmingham flutist named E. Johnson.

Sometime in the 1960s, it was sold to a CBC reporter, who took it back to Canada for her daughter. It kicked around British Columbia for awhile and then, in 1999, was gifted to me. In 2018, it went in to the flute repair shop for a much-needed spa. Completely restored, it’s once again ready for the big leagues….

How does one tell the story of a flute? That’s the focus of this project. In this project, my flute is both a storyteller and a teacher: its story as an instrument links together with my own story as a flute player: both separately and together, we have lived, breathed, and loved music.