I had the honor and privilege of meeting and talking to Butch Hall of Butch Hall Native American Flutes this afternoon in Weatherford. Butch was kind enough to receive Liz and I on an early Saturday afternoon, and gave us a personal tour of his wood shop, and let me share my hopes and dreams about furthering my understanding and appreciation about music that heals, as well as exploring if Native American flutes could be part of this journey.
I'm now approaching therapeutic/healing music more from a clinical perspective, which is how Jim Newton and Paul Hill have developed the songs they have written in their work through Hugworks for 30+ years.
It became apparent in just a few moments that Butch was the man I needed to talk to about Native American flutes and this dream of mine.
Butch showed and even let me play 6 of his flutes, but guided me toward the lower toned flutes he makes. I will be getting the Dm and Cm bass flutes from him very soon, and probably an E as well at some point. The goal is to eventually get several flutes that play well with guitar, keyboards and other instruments. I also purchased several of his lesson and song books.
I've been searching NAF flute sites on the Internet almost daily for over a year ... and have seen many, many examples of hand crafted flutes which are nothing more than one-of-a-kind works of art (and priced to match!) However, in my humble opinion, in a therapeutic situation, they would scream out "look at me!".
My goal in learning more about music that heals, is to find simpler designed flutes that sound great. My reason is this, when you are in a room with someone, or a group, who may benefit from healing themed music, the issue is not to get them to notice how pretty or ornate your flute is. The focus is on the recipient ... completely on the recipient. It's about the music. The same goes for the guitar. The reason I play 12-string when I sing/play solo in a therapeutic music situation is because of my personal observation that many patients in a hospital (children and adults alike), or seniors in a care center, actually close their eyes when a 12-string is softly played!!
Butch's flutes are not bad looking at all. His focus, however, is on how well they play and how well they sound! The basic design of the concert flutes he makes will not themselves be a distraction in a therapeutic / healing music setting. I think playing his flutes will be a good match for what I hope to accomplish in the months and years ahead in my music ministry. They sound great, are appropriate for the situation, and very fairly priced.
Thanks again Butch! The path before on this journey is now far less cluttered, and a lot more clear.
God's grace, and the healing power of music, still amazes me ... ><>