This is a rough draft: Site is under construction! So far there is only one example on Youtube: me jamming a bit on an F flute at the Nick Drake Tribute Gathering. Just type in <Peter Ozanne Three Hours> should get you there. Sound quality is not best; planning to put up some more serious stuff asap.
My Flutemaking Journey
I started working with bamboo in 1996: at first with Romanian Panpipes (the basics of which I learnt during two visits to Joeri Murk in Zurich), and then with side-blown flutes two years later. I was living in Ireland, so I soon found contact to makers and players in the Irish Trad scene - such as the great Martin Doyle in Clare, and Sean O'Brian from Dublin who introduced me to the history and different styles of Irish flute-playing. I make flutes because I enjoy it, and love music of all types and traditions.
I'm sticking with bamboo - I am content not to compete with the "Formula One" wooden flute-makers like Martin Doyle, "Hammy" Hamilton, whose flutes I can absolutely recommend if you want the best and can afford it. I'm just working to make durable, beautiful, well-tuned instruments which, as well as being suitable for more casual players of popular melodies, have been bought and played by serious session flutists.
To experienced flutists: please bear with me - some of the information below is for the benefit of beginners, and to the extent it is incomplete or inaccurate, please feel free to suggest additions or corrections!
The Flutes of Peter Ozanne
My flutes are made from "Tonkin" Bamboo, which is strong, and made stronger by heat-curing. Wall-thickness is +/- 4mm, so I usually insert a thicker mouthpiece (embouchure) to give a more powerful tone. The inside is coated with varnish or a drying oil, and the outside is tightly bound (either side of the blow hole and at the foot) with waxed thread to prevent splitting - which would only happen if the flute were dropped or struck. Of, course, you can have it without, but I wouldn't risk it myself! The flute can be left with its natural skin and outer growth marks, scars, etc., (cheaper!), or the outside can be smoothed off and finished with oil-varnish.
The Hole-System I most commonly use is typical for what is commonly referred to as the "Irish Trad Flute", played in Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and all round the world wherever people make Celtic Folk Music. It has 8 holes (excluding the blow-hole): 6 finger-holes and 2 so-called "vent-holes", the upper of which makes the lowest, or main key-note, of a particular flute.
2). Keys, Technique.
I make flutes in all keys from high B (roughly fife-size) through A, G, F, E, Eb, D, C, to low B. This means that even those with smaller hands - men, women, or children over about 10 - should be able to find a playable Ozanne flute.
IF, however, you do not use the ideal finger-positions, you will find it hard to play even quite small flutes or whistles. Sean O'Brian taught me the most widely used hand-positions, which you can see in the photos below, though it will vary from player to player. The fingers for the lower 3 holes are held loose but fairly straight. In this way, you can separate the fingers into a "W" shape to cover holes which are quite far apart, with ease. I know of one or two flutists who use a similar position for the upper holes, with great success, but most people find the position in the left picture more comfortable. For a flute which is huge - relative to your finger-length - you will need to use the position shown in the middle photo, probably for both hands.
Blow angle affects pitch. If you try to blow very "steep", you will cover more of the hole and flatten the lower octave especially. My flutes are made to play in tune at around room temperature, but you can have a slightly sharper or flatter flute to suit your technique (or climate).
3). Custom Design.
Some flutes of the same key have closer hole-spacing that others. The holes for the ring-fingers are usually off-set, to be easier to reach. The embouchure can be in line with the holes, but is often offset to one side, depending on whether you are right- or left-handed. It would be handy if you sent me an outline of your fingers spread in a W, with the length of your index finger from knuckle to tip.
Price will vary - depending on size, finish, and quality - from £100 - £200, which includes a soft-lined tube for storage and transport, and a dowel rod for removing the cork to clean or re-tune the upper octave, which is dependent on the distance of the cork from the blow - hole, as well as the angle of blow. An F is typically £120, and a D £160.
5). Tunes and Melodies.
Thousands of well-known melodies can be played on the folk - flute (or tin-whistle, aka flageolet), as well as hundreds of Irish or other Celtic jigs, reels, airs, etc. which can be found online in "abc" notation, and heard on YouTube.
Bamboo Needed! Urgent!
The first person who points me to a supply of suitable bamboo (at least 2 bales, 8 - 10', 50 poles per bale, and almost certainly Tonkin), containing the thicknesses indicated below, gets a good, off-the-peg flute, FREE!
It should be 24-26mm thick for an F or E flute, and 26-30mm approx. for an Eb, D, or C flute It should have several node lengths of 10 - 11 inches in the lower half for E and F, and 12 - 14 for Eb, D or C. You can talk to me on Facebook, as well as details below.