About dg Hatch's latest flute model, the new 5th Generation!

My name is Dennis dg Hatch, I am a member of the Chippewa Tribe of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, but I live on the Oregon Central Coast.  I have been making Native American Indian Flutes for more than 20 years.  Over the years, my life has changed in many ways and my flutes have also. Now I want to present you my latest model. I call this new model my 5th Generation, because this is the 5th configuration that has evolved through my flute making.  I have  continually worked on improving my flute making methods and woodworking skills to make the best sounding flutes I can.  Over the years I have tried to make every aspect of flute making enjoyable, so this was also a big motivator for change. Flute making can be hard on your body and I have personnally experienced it on my shoulders.

So, with this in mind, for this model of the 5th generation of my flutes, I completely changed the flute shape, design (internally and externally), which also effected the performance in a very positive way.  I combine different woods in a unique way, different than most flute makers.  I would say similar to guitar makers, that use different kinds of wood on a guitar to achieve unique tonal and performance qualities. I started combining woods back with my 4th Generation and did a lot of experimentation for about 10 years. 

Although I have carved big elaborate flute blocks over the years,       I have chosen to make low profile blocks for the performer.  Transporting flutes with elaborate blocks are not the best way to travel, especially through airports.  Other significant changes from the previous 4th Generation is that the 5th Gen flutes are more ergonomic, refined finishes, weight was cut by half and a leap in performance was achieved.  

A very encouraging motivator for me is hearing peoples comments, but I want to mention here that not all were positive toward Native American Indian flute makers in general.  I have overheard people comment that Native Indian people just don't make the best flutes for many different reasons... I found this to be a very hurtful and ignorant viewpoint.  Technical skills are important but in my opinion, the spirit and the ancestral heritage that brought this medecine to us today is an essential part of the soul of the Native flute. This is why I truly believe that if the maker's caracter is embedded in the flutes he creates, a Native American Indian flute maker who works himself, on every aspect of his flutes, like I do, will also bring forth the spirit of a tradition through his art along with his woodworker's skills and his personality.  

Although most comments I have heard about my flutes have been very positive, these 'comments' just made me more determined to prove them wrong.  My clients descriptions, personal experiences and life changing stories and the needs of today's players are the things that keep me going, to create new flutes and send them out to the World to do their work. 

I know that the Native flute has changed my life in significant and powerful ways and my life would not be what it is today, in any way, without the flute. 

One of the things that has not changed over the years, is my continual focus on the sound.  I have always put the sound of the flute utmost, over and above the look or the decorative art.  The most significant aspect of the 5th Generation flute has been and is the sound and performance. I think the Native flute can be a professionnal musical instrument on the same scale as other modern ones, and I enjoy researching and trying new ways to bring this traditional instrument to the best of its capacity. I also have the help of my wife's incredible ear, as a professional latin jazz and Native flutist. Visit my website regularly for new items in my store.


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