A snowy March Day at the Haynes Factory-Flautist Ian Mullin
A snowy March Day at the Haynes Factory-Flautist Ian Mullin – On a snowy Friday in March, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity of being shown around the Haynes Factory just outside of Boston. Luckily I had a few hours spare on tour with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. We were playing a concert in Symphony Hall and had most of the day free to visit our friends from the Haynes Flute Company to see their premises and how they finish their flutes from the ground up. It was a great pleasure to see them at work and speak to all the staff to see what is involved in making such a polished classy flute!
I was very kindly collected from my hotel and Jorge fought our way to the factory 40 minutes outside of Boston in drifting snow. The journey was made worthwhile even before I got to the factory with a stop for coffee and bagel at Dunkin Donuts! When I arrived through the adverse weather conditions I was met and greeted by Alan Weiss and Steven Finley. They are both Artists in Residence at the WM Haynes Flute company and represent Haynes across the globe between them, attending conventions and meeting retailers throughout the Americas, Europe, Australasia and Far East a number of times a year.
I was immediately shown around the wonderful facilities and given a tour of whole factory from Alan’s office with beautiful memorabilia from the Haynes company over the years to the engine rooms of the factory where the flutes are crafted from their bare solid metal tubes. I was shown many stages throughout the process of hand making flutes from punching tone holes to soldering the mechanism of the flute to its body. I also met the lovely ladies & gentleman in the head joint finishing room. The two main cuts of head joint at Haynes are N and P. The N cut is designed for more resistance and has a higher chimney and blowing edge. The most popular cut predominantly in US & Europe is the P cut. I found that actually the P cut suited many of the flutes I tried for my style of playing but not all. I would say that the cut of headjoint is not just a uniform choice as I previously thought and other factors should also be considered. For instance metal of the flute for instance gold or even the 5% Gold silver mix, even with the material of the risers too.
I have in my role at All Flutes Plus tried thousands of flutes and one needs to have a control (as in a biology experiment) and a belief in ones own playing abilities and experience. There are a few simple exercises and tests I perform when trying out a flute. One being the ability to do 0-60mph in terms of dynamic and tone colour as quick as possible. What I mean by this is does the flute setup and head joint cut allow me to go very quickly between ppp and fff and does it crack in sound when the airflow and airstream is dramatically increased!