D. L. Keur, flutist, pianist, musician, instrumentalist, zentao music

Conservatory trained throughout my youth on both flute and piano, I retired in my twenties from playing flute on stage, and, other than teaching a few students privately, I didn’t play seriously for years. In fact, I didn’t play again until my husband, Forrest W. Lineberry, asked me to perform with him.

Here are Forrest and I in our first attempt at video recording, playing Goodbye Brick in the Wall, a seque of Pink Floyd’s Goodbye Blue Sky / Another Brick in the Wall Part II arranged by Forrest for plugged-in acoustic guitar and overdriven flute. Our second video attempt is the other video presented here, which is the Kansas piece, Carry On Wayward Son, also arranged by Forrest for switched-on acoustic guitar and electrified flute.

Video ThumbnailGoodbye Brick in the Wall, zentao music is F. W. Lineberry on guitar and D. L. Keur on overdriven flute

(The dog in our Goodbye Brick in the Wall video is Laddie, whom I have pictured elsewhere on this site.

Video ThumbnailF. W. Lineberry's arrangement of Carry On Warward Son for electrified flute and guitar

The cats you catch a glimpse of here and there are one or the other of our furballs, specifically asthmatic Alecia at the end.)

Forrest’s arrangement of KISS’ Beth
Forrest’s arrangement of Jethro Tull’s Living in the Past
Forrest’s arrangement of Frank Zappa’s The Dog Breath Variations
Forrest’s arrangement and tempo choice of Bach’s Siciliano
Forrest’s arrangement of Kansas’ Carry On Wayward Son
Forrest’s arrangement of Pink Floyd’s Goodbye Blue Sky / Another Brick in the Wall Part II which we call Goodbye Brick in the Wall
Forrest’s arrangement of Santana’s Oye Como Va for plugged-in flute & acoustic guitar

Dawn's Azumi flute

Playing Tull's Living in the Past

Living In The Past Strip


For me, playing Tull’s Living in the Past requires a lot of air. In fact, most Tull pieces require it. To be even modestly effective it trying to mimic the Tull flute characteristic sound, I have to push the brink of where the tone breaks to the harmonic and do so while purposely angling the air column so that it cuts across the outer edge of the blowhole just a certain way. I also have to adjust the delivery and shape of each note as well as my tonguing and how I depress the keys. Here are the details:

Overblowing the sound for this piece I accomplish by, both, pressurizing the air column and increasing the amount of air I’m pushing. This increases and intensifies the speed of the airstream as it cuts across the blowhole. Simultaneously, I also angle that airstream just so, getting the far edge of the blowhole to, quite literally, sharply slice that airstream. It’s what makes that ‘edgy’ sound — a subliminal whistling of wind that’s partly due to the speed with which the air is crossing the blowhole and rushing into and through the body of the flute, and partly due to the angle. This gives the resulting sound its intensity and razed effect. I’m using twice as much air as usual and the embouchure control has to be meticulous to control it. Of course, sometimes the sound does break, and that’s okay. That happens when I stop being so careful and drive the sound too hard. But I find I like the sound, even when it does break.

I also had to adjust my tonguing technique, going back to ‘the wrong way’ of doing it, using the harsher ‘t’ consonant taught by band teachers, instead of ‘du’ and ‘da’ flutists actually use for hard tonguing.

With that ground work employed, then the actual notes have to be formed with the breath using diaphragm control combined with the mouth shape and tongue so that the shape of each punctuated note, whether soft or hard, is shaped like a mushroom, not like the usual ‘O’ pinched at both ends, the soft, big pillow, or a wedge, these latter three being examples too classical in style to get the right effect for Tull rock.

I find myself shortening the duration of the notes, which I shouldn’t, but, with using the ‘mushroom’, I find I want to start ‘bouncing’ the notes — again, another classical technique — instead of what I’m supposed to be doing, namely, ‘punching’ them and then letting them (p)lay out.

Lastly, I have to use a lot of mouth effects in certain passages, but, in Living in the Past, the use is subtle, not overt, so I’ll talk about that when we release one of the pieces where the use of mouth effects is very distinct and noticeable.

It’s very typical of ‘rock’ flute to combine techniques not usually utilized together and do it in a way that produces a distinct and unique energy and grit to the sound. I’m not yet very proficient at it, but I’ve got a start, anyway.

Living In The Past, Video Size


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