REVIEWS

 

GARY STRODTZ, Pacific Northwest
I normally do not buy a flute that I haven't played. Too often, one does not get one that meets expectations. In this case, I purchased my Sierra, Mary Youngblood Em on the recommendation of my good friend, Ken Kolman. It also helped knowing that Mary had a hand in its design. I have played this Sierra everyday since receiving it. Its appearance is plain and clean and has the Yellow cedar smell. I find it very attractive and non-assuming. It really comes to life when played. I enjoy the ability to play soft and quietly with all notes full as well as belt out a good loud sound. Not all flutes sound good when played softly. This one does. My favorite characteristic of this flute is its responsiveness to breath control. Breathing in the flute, to me, is the key enhancement for any music. It does pop when needed, but responds well to all forms of breathing. I would highly recommend this one to anyone.

KEN KOLMAN, Boise, ID
Flutist, purcussionist and vocalist in Beltane
I met Ed and Alex last year at the Zion Flute Festival. I’ve seen a lot of flutes and, like many, have an embarrassingly large collection. There are many qualities people look for in their flutes. Some long to tie to ancient roots and pursue rustic instruments. Some appreciate ornate carvings, inlays, and painting. I enjoy whatever directions creativity may take. But like most, I have strong preferences that decide whose instruments I really play. I’m a multi-instrumentalist and specifically appreciate sound: an instrument’s ability to deliver the tones you feel and hear in your heart. I like instruments that may demand a little more … but never stand as a barrier between the sound you imagine and the sound you then hear; Sierra Flutes consistently realize this vision. As I get older, I’m beginning to understand there are a couple elements influencing an instrument’s ability to touch human emotion; one is mechanical technical precision and finesse … pure physics. Take the bird off a Sierra Flute and you’ll see … in the sound mechanism … a refinement only seen in the best flutes. The second is interestingly some of the essence or life-perfume of the builders. Really humble sweet people leave some of what they are in the flutes they create. The flute world is filled with really wonderful people as builders … and in this area … again … Alex and Ed are two of the best. You feel the love as you hold and play the instruments.I’d like to thank Ed and Alex for flutes that never embarrass me … flutes that are better as instruments than I am as a player: but flutes that continue to reward as I grow. Thanks guys …

MIKE ELY, Rocklin, California
"Thank you 'Sierra Flutes'. Your instruments have enriched my flute journey. I love exploring the range within every note. Hitting octaves with ease and the ability to take it down to a whisper. I've never owned a flute, until now, that would play with the slightest of breath, and I mean the slightest of breath, yet perform crisp and bright when you hit it. Well done boys, Well Done Indeed!"

VICKI DELLONE, Fresno, California
"I had the opportunity to meet Ed and Alex, and to play their flutes for the first time at the Yosemite Flute Festival.  I was immediately impressed.  The tonal clarity of your flutes is amazing.  I am used to having to work around weaker notes on individual flutes, but that was not the case with your flutes. The tone and control is fantastic.  I also love the clean lines used in the construction of your flutes….they are both lovely and incredibly responsive.  I was so impressed that I soon purchased a second flute from you as a gift for a dear friend.  That second flute was also phenomenal, and is so loved by the person who received it, that we can hardly get her to put it down! The two of you make a great team.  Thank you for sharing your talents with the rest of us."

DAVID POMATTI, Nagoya, Japan
"After playing for a couple of days the new Mary Youngblood 'E' signature flute from you, I'm more pleased than ever. Thanks so much for this great-sounding instrument! I noticed that it can get an extended range by some upper note half-holing as well as the overtones from overblowing the highest notes (and closing part of the end of the flute with my leg to get a missing note in between). All of these come through in the loudest, clearest voice of any of my NAFs. This makes me even more eager to order another flute from you, one in low (bass) C#. Because your flutes are not otherwise decorated with laminations, insets, burn rings, etc. (at least that I can see pictured), the beauty of the wood itself becomes the prime visual feature.
I have just over 50 NAFs and yours adds a different sound dimension to them all. I don't know if any other makers use a dual flue -- half in the flute body and half in the block -- but for me it serves to combine in one instrument the sound features of both Plains and Woodlands style flutes.. All players should be made aware of this."

RON HOUSLEY, Council Bluffs, Iowa
"The two flutes, Wenge Eb & Mopani Bb, arrived today safe & sound. You are right, the Wenge flute is beautiful! The grain pattern is stunning! And the Mopani looks pretty darned good also. I had a chance to play both of them today, and they are GREAT. The tone is perfect. I am very impressed. You guys are the best. Later, I'll be discussing with Alex another pair of 'harmonious' Diatonic flutes. But, for now, I am a VERY satisfied Sierra Flutes customer!"

GREYWOLF, Apache Elder behind bars
"Ed was gracious to donate several flutes a few years ago to our Flute Circle here behind bars, facilitated through my friend Cryss BlackWolf. These flutes were well made, in tune, and sound great. The Native American Flute brings calmness to often angry, confused souls and does wonders at we work with these kids to prevent return trips behind bars. The flute helps them find themselves, which is when forgiveness and healing can begin. I am very grateful."

CRYSS BLACKWOLF, Redmond, Washington
BlackWolf Drums / Sierra Raven Clan

"I have been playing the Native American flute for five years and have incorporated them into my Drum Circles for about 4 years. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that Ed and Alex were combining their talents. They are two Master Flute Makers who are quickly making a name for themselves amongst those 'in the know' and are producing consistently amazing flutes stemming from years of experience. I am fortunate to have some of Ed’s earlier flutes, and recently acquired one of the most fantastic Bass Am flutes I have had the pleasure of playing, after discovering it at the Yosemite Flute Festival ."

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