Friday, April 3, 2015

"Silver and Gold" with Paul Edmund-Davies

There is a rather large selection of materials when it comes to flutes – and headjoints.  The multitude of choices between silver and gold (along with the different karats and types such as rose or yellow gold) can make choosing your flute and headjoint a daunting task.  Some flutists then wonder if one type of material is better than another.  Luckily, we had the chance to speak with Powell artist Paul Edmund-Davies about this topic during his recent visit to Powell…

Paul has two Powell flutes – one silver Custom and one 19.5k Custom with a 14k mechanism.  Just like tone holes or any other option on a flute, one type of material is not better than another – the materials are simply different.  Silver and gold each have their unique characteristic qualities, and Paul appreciates these qualities and differences.  From his perspective, he finds that in his own playing, the silver sound is “closest to the human voice,” and the “brilliance of gold is breathtaking.”  And, as he said, it all depends on the player and the player’s preferences.

Powell Custom 19.5k with 14k keys (left) and Powell Custom silver (right)

However, for flutists who are currently playing a silver flute and considering moving over to gold, Paul presented several suggestions on how to experiment with gold.  Since it can be a huge change to shift over to a gold flute, he finds that Aurumite® is a “very good middle ground to investigate gold,” given its composition of one layer of gold and one layer of silver.  In terms of “experimenting” with gold, he suggested the following:

1) Try your silver flute with a silver headjoint that has a gold riser.
2) Try your silver flute with an Aurumite headjoint.
3) Try your silver flute with a gold headjoint.

Even with Aurumite, you will have choices.  The “Aurumite 9k” and “Ruby Aurumite” have rose gold on the outside.  The “Aurumite 14k” has silver on the outside and 14k rose gold on the inside.  Moving along with the progression of steps Paul suggested should, however, give you a logical method for testing just how much gold is right for you!

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