Jean-Pierre Rampal's gold Louis Lot flute

A recent question on the Galway forum prompted me to go dig up an old concert program (circa 1978) where Jean-Pierre Rampal recounts how he got his gold Louis Lot:

I found my Louis Lot flute in 1948 by good luck. I had two managers and one told me, 'You know, I have a French flute that is gold.' 'You said gold?' ''Yes, French, but in Chinese.' 'Chinese?'; I was thinking it must be the Louis Lot, the only gold one he made and very famous. This flute was made for Jean Remusat, a salon flute player, I mean a high society flute player. When he was getting old, the Philharmonic Society of Shanghai invited him to be the president, he accepted and to thank him they ordered this flute. I said I must see it, and my managers said sure, but it was broken. They showed it to me, and of course it was the Lot. They loaned it to me, and I was so excited. I sent the flute to my father in Marseilles, and he worked all the day and night; he called me in the morning and said it was a fantastic flute. He couldn't sleep before; he made the pads and everything . . . I said I would like to buy it, and I had to pay them in Louis d'or, which was twenty-four carat gold and difficult to find. But it was worth it, and now really quite a bargain.
A Haynes flute is close to the Louis Lot. When I first came in the States, I was really impressed immediately. They gave me a flute to try and I liked it very much. I went back to France and began to play it, and I stuck with it. Now I have another Haynes too, and I keep the Louis Lot in France in a safe.

Anybody know the whereabouts of the flute today? Is it in a museum somewhere?

Apple Safari browser – now for the PC!

Apple recently made available it's Safari browser for the PC. This morning I installed it on the computer down at People's Music and was very impressed by how well it worked. What struck me the most right away was how "Apple like" it was! (for some odd reason I was expecting a radically different experience than the Safari on my Mac...).

If all goes well, Safari for the PC could turn out be a great bridge for Apple in getting across the 'feel' of what it's like to use a Mac to countless PC users. Good move Apple!

Cancer Project Cooking Classes

I've been attending the free Cancer Project Cooking Classes at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Rosa the past couple of weeks and have been very impressed by the whole thing! In our class, we're very fortunate to have Stephanie as our teacher - she's a registered dietician as well as a cook at Millenium in San Francisco - needless to say, the meals she cooks are excellent and I've already learned a great deal from watching how she prepares the food. If you can, I highly recommend going.

My Rob Belgrade epiphany

As I recall, it was a warm day sunny day in 1978. I was at Sonoma State downstairs in a classroom in the music building with my head buried into practicing my Taffanel & Gaubert E. J. #12 arpeggio exercise when there was a knock at the door.

"Whatcha workin' on man?" - it was Rob Belgrade. In his typical attire (or the lack thereof in those days), Rob was wearing shorts and sandals, no shirt, and carrying a backpack and his saxophone. I showed him the book and the exercise on the music stand.

Rob looked at the music on the stand for maybe all of 15-20 seconds and then walked across the room. He opened up his backpack and pulled out his closed-hole student flute then promptly proceeded to play the exercise from across the room! I was stunned.

"How are you doing this??" I asked. "Easy, man" replied Rob as he walked backed over to the stand. "You see what you have here is a dominant seventh for the first measure, then a minor seventh for the second, then half diminished, then fully diminished going down chromatically."

I knew right then that here was an example of the power of a solid theoretical background - I may not have known it intellectually, but I knew that Rob knew something I didn't and if I wanted to be able to do what he did, I had better get my theory together - and quick!


says my Yahoo! Mail. Wow! 🙂
I've been using Yahoo! Mail for about ten years as my primary email provider and can remember when I only had a 6MB storage max! - things sure have changed. Until just a few years ago, I recall all to well having to download my email once a month or more just to free up space. Then in 2004, Google's GMail started to really shake up the scene storage-wise when they offered one Gig of storage. Fortunately, Yahoo! responded by increasing their max as well at which point, I opted to pay the $20 a year to have their Mail Plus service and go Web based email full time. Overall I've been very happy with Yahoo! Mail Plus and much as I like GMail, unless something comes along that is really amazing will probably stay put with Yahoo! - it works.

Charlie's foot

A couple of weeks ago my cat Charlie got into a fight with one of the neighboring cats. He ended up with a badly cut right rear paw pad so that it had to be stitched. Since then, I've been keeping him indoors. Inspite of the plastic neck guard, he's managed to free himself several times of the bandage and so I've made several trips to the vet to get the bandage redone.
All was looking good until today when I noticed that the same foot was bleeding pretty badly, so off to the vet we went. This time however, the vet showed me that the bleeding was not coming from where the stitches had been on the pad but rather from something looking like a large red blister. She said she didn't like the look of it and mentioned that it could be a tumor. 😐 She also told me she took some cells from the blister and that she would know what the results were on Monday. In any event, whatever is causing the blister needs to be taken care of. I really, REALLY hope it's not a tumor and that when the bandage is removed all is well and that this blister thing was just some freakish swelling. Guess I'll know Monday...