Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Day 125: Recorder Builder's Workshop

As an avid amateur recorder player, I own a number of instruments of all sizes. Close to Montreal is a recorder maker, Jean-Luc Boudreau, who makes hand-made instruments as well as part machine-made instruments (his Aesthé line). I have a few Aesthé recorders as well as a voice flute (a recorder in D) which is one of his hand-made instruments. It needed a bit of work so I went to Jean-Luc's workshop. He filed the windway and the block and now the sound is once again pure and flexible.

I admire people who are so good with their hands, who can make something so beautiful out of a chunk of wood. I love to wander around the workshop, to see the unfinished recorder blocks ready to be finished and plugged into recorders, to see the half-finished recorders, well on their way to becoming instruments. Oil, files, a small alcohol burner, woodworking tools are just some of what is needed for the process. Most of all what is needed is the maker, whose passion, precision and practice nurture each instrument to life.

Once finished, these instruments live - providing years of pleasure to those who play and (hopefully) those who listen!


  1. So, did you learn the recorder because you have a craftsman near your hometown? Or did you learn the recorder first? Either way, it seems you got lucky. I don't imagine there is a recorder-guy in every city?
    This is a great shot, getting a behind-the-scenes look at the workshop!

  2. Beautifully written, Susan. I've always disliked the sound of recorders, but that's because they were played by all primary school children, and the sound wasn't great. Once I heard a talented young musician play a recorder which made me forget that the sound was being created by a mere wooden instrument. I'll never forget that.