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NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTE FORUM
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Spirit of a Flute Maker: A Conversation with Scott Loomis
By John Sarantos
 
Originally Published in "Voice of the Wind", April 1999
 
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  Spirit of a Flute Maker: A Conversation with Scott Loomis
  Page #1 of 7

     As I drove the 178 miles in a driving Oregon downpour to meet with Scott Loomis for this article, I kept telling myself that I must stop committing myself to writing articles for VOW. However, once I approached Scott's property and I felt the peacefulness of his soul, I knew this would not be my last article. This was what life is about. Visiting friends old and new, sharing personal philosophies, talking to the animals and the trees, feeling the energy of all those who have visited before and those whose spirits have always been there.
     I was greeted by Scott's canine, Boris, 3/4 wolf and part Alaskan something or another. Boris wasn't too sure of me as he circled around me.  At first, I wasn't too sure of Boris either.  He stayed his distance from me at the beginning of my visit.
     Scott and I visited at his house for a while, then we went into his workshop, about 35 yards from his house, which cuts down on his travel time to work.
     Once inside the workshop, we just sat for a few minutes without talking.  I took animal communicator Penelope Smith's advice and just took time to look at Scott while I cleared my mind and focused on where I was until I felt very comfortable about just being in the workshop and being with Scott.
     I had emailed Scott about twenty-five questions which he didn't read and which I never made myself a copy of. Scott expressed a desire not to have an interview, but instead just have a conversation between ourselves.
     And that is just what we did.
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     John: Scott, I'm sitting here feeling the peacefulness of the shop. Usually I don't think of a shop as a peaceful, meditative place, but your shop has that feeling.

     Scott: (Scott points to a wall where several tall pieces of wood wait to be crafted into flutes).
     That's what happens when you're surrounded by all the tall ones that give themselves so that we can bring beauty and music into the world.
     That's my life's philosophy, You have a choice. You can either see the beauty or not see the beauty. And I choose to see the beauty.
     When I approach my work, I try to make every flute with the intention that it is the last flute and the best flute, and if I can't do that, I turn out the lights and close the door, because I have lost my concentration. I've lost my intention for making the best flute that I can make. And that is what separates the craftsman, the artist from those individuals who just want to make a flute.
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     John: It's like people who can sing a song by hitting each note, and the melody is there, but there is nothing coming from inside their soul.

     Scott: Right, there's no soul. And that comes across. I think that really comes across in a person's work, no matter what the work is.
     I tell people, I can teach you how to make a flute, and I have no problem teaching you how to make a flute, I just won't be able to teach you how to make a Loomis flute. I'll give you all the secrets...whatever those are, but there is a certain amount of personal energy that goes into what you do, that makes it yours; that separates it from everybody else. It is a certain mind set.
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     John: I think there are people like myself who play flutes a lot and who are familiar with the sound of some of the more reputable flute makers, who could probably sit in a circle with our eyes closed and tell you whose flutes were being played because of their individual quality. It is the sound of the flute maker that we really hear coming through the instrument, not just "a note".

     Scott: It's a sound signature that you get. Like Ken Light's flutes don't sound like Hawk LittleJohn's flutes, whose flutes don't sound like Loomis' flutes, but all three of those are good flutes. So, yes, you feel that sound signature.
     Hawk and I have the same note progression that we put on our flutes, but yet they play differently. And that's good.
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Copyright 1999 John Sarantos
Updated April 18, 1999 by LH
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