Lunchtime concert from 1 – 1:45pm at St Pauls Cathedral, Melbourne
When I discovered that a flute concert was coming up at my favourite cathedral, I was excited to find out more. Perhaps I had been hiding under a rock during my career as a flutist, but I had never heard of flutist Howlin’ Wind (Andy Richardson).
Seeking more information from the web, I was impressed to see 50 recordings to his name, spanning a 40 year period, with 48 of those recordings containing original compositions. I was even more delighted by online sound clips and discovering that Howlin’s music is very easy to enjoy. It is filled with atmosphere and is highly creative and highly original.
Though short, Howlin’s concert was uplifting and brought a smile to many faces. He brought along his friends Peter Daffy (acoustic guitar) and Bob Sedergreen (keyboard) and together they played a mix of tunes from Howlin’s ‘Great Ocean Road’ albums as well as some beautiful renditions of Christmas carols to suit the season. St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, was the perfect venue for the lofty melodies that sang and floated from Howlin’s flute, woven with keyboard and acoustic guitar.
Using ‘simple’ melodies, Howlin’ uses his fine artistry to resonate the sounds of his flute and creates melodic lines that lilt and soar into the heavens. He colours these melodies with dramatic changes to very soft, sweet dynamics and uses ornaments and improvisation with various flutters, flourishes and trills to create very interesting music that is at once breathtaking, relaxing and beautiful. He even treated the audience to a complete change of woodwind sound, playing the pan-pipes at the beginning of one of his pieces.
Howlin filled St Paul’s Cathedral with expansive, warm flute music that seemed to sparkle with the magnificent gold-illuminated image of Jesus’ crucifixion at the rear wall of the cathedral sanctuary. The most wonderful part of the performance, in addition to the creative and pleasing music, was the expression of pure joy that Howlin’ exuded during his performance. There is much serious music in the world, but it is truly inspiring to witness a performance that, while highly-skilled and beautiful, is played for the sheer joy of it. This is an essential part of the message that Christ brings to the world on Christmas Day – a life set towards giving love and joy can bring peace to the world. Thanks Howlin’, your music is a Christmas gift of peace and joy to the world.
More information on Howlin’ Wind can be found at http://howlinwind.com/, including his latest recording, ‘The Transcendental Flute Vol. 1’
Copyright © 2016 Jade Barker