July 19 to 25, 1999
By designing the mechanism for comfort and improved reach, I began meeting flutists who had problems with their hands. Many asked if I could design special keys to relieve their problems on their own flutes. Before long, I started hearing from flutists all over the world hoping that I might be able to help them recover from an injury or reach problem. I discovered that by learning about the underlying physical causes of each flutists' problem I could better design the flute mechanism to suit their needs. At the same time, for many, all they needed was help finding information or referrals. So, in 1993, we started the flutist's health care newsletter HANDS ON! to help flutists find information about, and solutions to, performance injuries. It is available free both in print and online.
We returned to New England in 1991 and settled in Newport, New Hampshire. Meredith and I work together in our shop to produce a few flutes each year, offer repair services, and some modifications for hand problems. I do the metalwork and Meredith does the padding and finishing. In '93, I had the pleasure of working with Albert Cooper to build four all 14K gold flutes with him. This was a wonderful opportunity for me as I have always admired Mr. Cooper's abilities and contributions to flutemaking and he had retired from making new flutes many years earlier and has not made any since.
As the Vanguard flute has evolved with each successive instrument, their sculptural design has gained recognition in the fine art community. The flutes have been exhibited at various galleries in New England as works of art. Last year, a Lunn flute won the best in show award in an art exhibit called "The Creative Hand II" sponsored by the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen and the New Hampshire Art Association. In June '99, a Lunn flute was on exhibit at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. representing a harmony of art and machining.
So that's the short version. Outside of flutes, in what may loosely be termed "spare time" I got involved in local politics and was elected for several years to our town council until I retired in '98. Meredith raises and trains Australian Shepherd dogs, and our 2 kids have grown up and moved out to start families of their own. Musically, I've come full circle and I'm back to playing the piano, with the music of Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and other early jazz composers. I'm a backyard astronomer, I've written a couple of screenplays (I really need to get out and sell them!) and started a stop-motion animation studio where I make animated film shorts. (You can see an MPEG clip at Cheapshot Productions).
You can get more detail about the Art Nouveau "Vanguard" design by visiting Lunn Flutes
Our online newsletter about finding solutions to flutists hand problems is available at HANDS ON!
Visit the town of Newport website if you would like to see the New England town we live in. (I also built the website)