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THE  ANGRY  FLUTE

by Mark Esakoff

There was one particular session during the recording of our debut self-titled CD Chasm, that I remember well. You could call it a fluke-flute incident. Early in the project we had started working with a new sound engineer, John Perez who was also the owner of the studio we were recording at: Audioworks (Glendale, CA).  Hence, John really didn’t know us. 

The session began and was rolling along with Mike in the recording chamber doing flute over dubs, while John and I sat in the control room. Things seemed to be going fine until Mike started swearing at his flute.  I wasn’t too concerned because I had seen him work like this before and he always ended up with a great performance. Still, there was a funny vibe in the air this time. Mike was becoming quite frustrated about not getting the sound he wanted… take after take…arguing with his flute… and then something happened that sent him ballistic. Right before our eyes, he reeled back and slammed his flute into the microphone stand !  John immediately jumped up running into the recording booth yelling "#%$& !!!" in fear that his $1,000 AKG microphone was going to take the next hit. I ran in after him trying to calm everyone down. What happened next was a bit loud and commotional, but eventually the dust settled. Fortunately, there was no blood and John’s microphone was spared. However, Mike’s flute was noticeably bent on an angle where it hit the mic stand. We all just stood there staring at it in silence. Then calmly, Mike raised it to his lips and began playing a happy little ditty like nothing had happened !  Despite the damage, it was still playable.  And instead of throwing us out of his studio, John simply asked, "Gentlemen, shall we continue?"  We agreed to give the recording another shot. Remarkably, Mike’s next few takes were so good that they ended up on the album. Those solos can be heard on the song "Wesley."  A great performance after all indeed. 

The flute was later repaired and given to a young music student. Mike got a new Armstrong concert flute, which he’s more careful with these days. He joked about the incident saying that Mozart may have created "The Magic Flute," but he has the distinct honor of creating the "The Angry Flute."

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