Wanting to build a better flute, I study patterns in those of other cultures, including basic acoustic principles. Though my work is deeply personal, it is steeped in my studies of archaic wind instruments, giving my work resonance through time. I make both traditional and innovative flute forms in clay, many in highly unconventional shapes. By studying and cultivating peculiar acoustic systems, I can generate extraordinary sounds. My instruments are rooted in an earlier flute tradition, that of the Prehispanic cultures of MesoAmerica, who made a great variety of ceremonial flutes. I have studied these instruments, published articles in scholarly and popular journals, lectured on them and given workshops. In all my work, they serve as a source of ideas and inspiration. The sounds of these ancient flutes from the Olmec to the Maya to the Aztec, seem to resonate deep in our psyche. Some are raw, like animals, like grief; others evoke human voices singing or crying; sometimes, strange tones buzz inside our heads.
Contact: Susan Rawcliffe
Go to artist's website
Videos of artist playing flutes on YouTube