‘Flute creates a special vibration and resonance among listeners’

By Somrita Ghosh

New Delhi, July 18 (IANS) In an age of Electronic Dance Music (EDM), internationally acclaimed flautist Jane Rutter believes the pure sound of the instrument, if played from the heart, can create a special vibration and resonance among listeners.

“The flute is the oldest instrument known to man dating back 40,000 years. It was used by early man as a tool of communication. When the flute is played with musical and spiritual intention, this harnessing of the breath creates a special vibration and resonance in the heart of the listeners,” Rutter, an Australian who has been knighted by the French government for her efforts in promoting the instrument and who will be making her India debut in Mumbai on Wednesday, told IANS in an email interview.

“I believe the future of flute players is assured because of the way people react to the beautiful sound. Of course, in the digital age one needs to be aware and creative. I have spent my life adding to my musical skills, keeping up with current trends, whilst maintaining my heritage as a French-style flute player, a disciple of the (French) Rampal School. Last year I was knighted by France; so it’s doubly important that I maintain the legacy and the tradition of my great French music masters,” she added.

It’s been quite a journey for the 58-year-old Rutter, who began learning the recorder, the building block to the flute, at the age of four and whose teacher Jean-Pierre Rampal once said: “The flute is the sound of man flowing free from his body — playing the flute is just like singing.”

What has it been like?

“If the player has skill and a deep connection with the sound, then the melodies are guaranteed to land in the heart-centre of the audience. All audiences want to be taken on a musical journey — that is what I provide for my listeners: A sense of connection.

“We have a lot of fun in my concerts…I am lighthearted, but I’m also serious and very devoted. I’m told that people come away from my concerts feeling truly moved. The purpose of music is to keep the emotional portals open, that is my commitment,” Rutter, who has a collection of over 100 flutes, explained.

What then can the audience expect at her debut concert at The Finch, one of suburban Mumbai’s newest music and food outlets?

Noting that a combination of great music and great food is always a winner, Rutter said: “Throughout my life, as a musician and traveller, I have been inspired by the music of many countries, and I like to bring this to my compositions — the music of (my) Third Culture (album) is Indian Arabic and Chinese inspired. I will play some pieces from this album.”

She then struck a philosophic note.

“Music will always continue to captivate listeners, irrespective of language, genre or instrument an artist is playing. If the player has skill to generate a deep connection with the sound, then the melodies are guaranteed to strike the emotional chord and touch the soul of the audience,” she said.

Thus, for her, the purpose of music is to keep the emotional portals open among her audience. She strongly believes that music should be able to take audience on a journey and wants to provide her listeners “a sense of connection”.

(Somrita Ghosh can be contacted at somrita.g@ians.in)

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