This blog is dedicated to the sublime instruments called nose flutes and which produce the most divine sound ever. We have chosen to discard all the native models from S. Pacific and Asia, for they need fingering to be played. We'll concentrate on "buccal cavity driven" nose flutes : the well patented and trademarked metal or plastic ones, plus, by a condemnable indulgence, some wooden craft or home-made productions.

Sep 22, 2012

Autumn Day...

To enter the new season, here is a Haiku written by Maikel Mei:

autumn leaves
quietly blowing
on the nose flute

Mr. Mei sent also an exegesis :

« Autumn Leaves is a very famous jazz standard, most notably linked to one of my heroes, Chet Baker, who with his distinguished soft tone in trumpet & vocal actually was quite popular in Japan. Autumn leaves obviously represent the colouring on the trees, preferably in one of those wonderful Japanese gardens, but also means that winter is around the corner, as the beauty of autumn makes place and gives way... 'Autumn leaves' also literally means 'Autumn goes away'. ('leaves' is then used as a verb, 'to leave'). When Autumn has gone, winter comes. Winter symbolises the end of life itself, the last stage of someone's life. The nose flute is traditionally played at life's end, at funerals and wakes. However, the nose flute is also played during courting and wedding ceremonies. Nose flute play therefore covers and marks all important stages of life. After Winter there will be a new beginning: there will be another Spring. This haiku contains the traditional number of phonetic sounds (morae), not words or syllables. To me, the used phonetic sounds of the words sound in keeping with the atmosphere of Autumn and the last quiet, beautiful day before the weather turns really nasty. The haiku can be read in many ways as each line can be combined in whichever order. It was intended to be as sparse yet as meaningful as possible at the same time. It depends on the reader what to see in it.

« Blowing not only means the wind blowing and the brass or wind instrument being played, but also messing something up, giving something away, which autumn does in a quiet way, such kitchen sink drama!!! The leaves are being blown off the trees and the song is being blown on the horn and in this case the nose flute; it could also imply that the wind/sound coming from the wind instrument makes the leaves fall off the tree...! Another meaning: the wind goes right through the nose flute, making wind tones, the very earliest of wind instruments, often hung in trees(!); this is regarded as the 'voice of the spirits'.... The leaves possibly cover the nose flute as they fall on the ground, and methaphorically, it means that the season has come to an end, being put away, stored, 'the party's over'. Also, the song on the noseflute marks the end..., as in my poem 'Last goodbye'. Actually, it ends in exactly these 4 words. 'On the  nose flute also means that it is written on the nose flute as a tribute on the noseflute and written to be played on the nose flute as well.... DEEEEEEEP;-) »

Sep 19, 2012

Nose Flute Pioneers : William G. Carter - Part III

With the "Nose Flute Pioneers" series, Noseflute.org enters a little cycle of research. I hope it won't be too arid for a blog, but I really think that the facts I found have to be published. The sources : Google patents, US Census and an access to newspaper archives. But also, depending on the topic, correspondence by e-mail with descendants. Let's better say : internet searching tools available for a Frenchie not able to access US real paper archives.

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Nose Flute Pioneers : William Carter - Part III

William Carter : Last years and descent


[sequel of Part I and Part II]

In 1909, the Carters move to Rochester, NY, in the S-W part of the city, near the Genesee river. Rochester is a big city, just 35 miles East from Albion and with 220.000 inhabitants.

Rochester downtown :


They rent a flat at 101 Bartlett street. Elizabeth is still milliner (does she also rent the shop just below?) and William, on his side, has (finally!) a workshop. It is located... exactly across the street. Both are noted as "Emp." on the 1915 census sheet.
In 1915, James Adelbert (20) is "shipping clerk" at the "Gerenal Ry Signal Co.", Mary Louise (17) is "billing clerk" and Mabel Elizabeth (15) is still at school.



1915 census :


On the other side of the street, the workshop has been skimmed over since...

In 1917, Adelbert (22 yrs old) is called to serve the USA for their participation in the WWI. Was he sent to Europe?



So, we learn that Adelbert is short and stout, has got blue eyes and black hair.

The 1918 city directory is quite informative : The carters have moved to 8 Day place (half of the house shown below, if it dates from that time). James A. is still serving the USA, but the girls have disappeared (Mabel is freshly married but not Louise...) Is William retired? We know he should have been already sick... Whatever the answer, he has no workshop anymore.



Indeed, in the 1919 city directory, we can read that William died March 10, 1919., at the age of 72 or 73.



According to Richard O'Brien, who's probably a descendant of Elizabeth's family and who let this notice about Carter, William died of a « Cirrhosis (explanation was influenza ». Besides the wrong year of his death, and after asking some specialist, influenza cannot be the cause of a cirrhosis.



However, besides alcoholism, a cirrhosis can find its origin in a viral hepatitis or a metabolic syndrom, or even some other toxic causes, for instance heavy metals... (for a tinsmith, spending his time welding, this could be imaginable).

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In 1923, the Carters have moved from #8 to #27, Day place, and in 1924 are located at 97, Chamberlain. They rent a room to a bookbinder, Winslow Russel.



In 1927, Mabel married Leo John McGahan. They live in Springfield, MA., and
have one son the same year, John Joseph (Feb.5, 1927).

Elizabeth, James A. and M. Louise moved to 1 Salina St.

The same year, James Adelbert married Rena B. (born in 1895 in Nova Scotia). They first move to 23 Delmar St., then to Syracuse, 1803 Colvin St. They will have 2 twin children, James Blair and Nancy Jane.



In 1929 or 30, it's the turn of Mary Louise to marry, and Elizabeth, probably feeling alone, begins a work as social worker, and moves to 4 Porthsmouth terrace.
Also, the McGahans have a daughter, Mary C.

In 1931, a new daughter is born in James & Rena's home, Shirley Elizabeth. Before 1935, Elizabeth has stopped to work and has moved to 7 Thorndale terrace: she is hosted by James and Rena.

In the 1940 census sheet we learn that in 1935, James Adelbert Carter had moved to Buffalo, NY. Leo and Mabel lives in Grand Island, NY. But later in the 30s, they are back to Rochester. Leo John is "sales and head manager in Heating", and has earned $1400 in 1939) and in 1940, they host Elizabeth:



In 1940, James A. and his family are back to Rochester too., 248 Sherwood ave. James Adelbert has become "machinery salesman" and earned $3900 (in 1939).



In 1947, the McGahans and Elizabeth M., moved to 122 Warwick ave.

1949 is the last apparition of Elizabeth M. in the city directory, and she doesn't appear in the 1950 census sheet. It is quite obvious she had passed away, at the age of 87.



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- I have lost the trace of James  Adelbert Carter, and don't know when he died [William's son].
- Mary Louise died in 1969 [William's daughter].
- Mabel Elizabeth passed away in 1984. [William's daughter]

- I lost the trace of James Blair from 1940 [William's grandson, who might have inherited of William's papers].
- John Joseph McGahan died Nov. 3, 1993. [William's grandson]

- Mary C. (born McGahan) is still alive (she's 83) [William's granddaughter]
- John Joseph had 1 daughter and 3 sons (names unknown), and they are all alive [William's great-grand-children].




William G. Carter is elected, with no discussion, to The Nose Flute Hall of Fame, as with Honorary degree!



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On the same topic :

- Nose Flute Pioneers: William G. Carter - Part I
- Nose Flute Pioneers: William G. Carter - Part II
- Nose Flute Pioneers: William G. Carter - Part III
- Nose Flute Pioneers: Ernest W. Davis - Part I
- Nose Flute Pioneers: Ernest W. Davis - Part II
- Nose Flute Pioneers: Nelson Ronsheim
- Nose Flute Pioneers: Garrett J. Couchois

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Sep 18, 2012

NHK Association on TV!

The NHK (Nihon Hanabue Kyokai), nose flute fellowship of the Hanshin, is very active. Many meetings, rehearsals and public performances. And this morning, it appeared on Yomiuri TV, for a presentation.
Unfortunately the emcee doesn't manifestly know how to play a nose flute, and tries to blow her Bocarina like a whistle :) Then the NHK plays a sweet melody!
Thanks to Mr. Hisaaki Matsui for sharing this video.

Jun Tanioka on stage!

Our friend Hanabue114 on stage for a public performance, in Iwaki (Fukushima Prefecture). Well, much less disco than when he plays in his home! :)

Sep 17, 2012

Nose Flute Pioneers: William G. Carter - Part II

With the "Nose Flute Pioneers" series, Noseflute.org enters a little cycle of research. I hope it won't be too arid for a blog, but I really think that the facts I found have to be published. The sources : Google patents, US Census and an access to newspaper archives. But also, depending on the topic, correspondence by e-mail with descendants. Let's better say : internet searching tools available for a Frenchie not able to access US real paper archives.

---

Nose Flute Pioneers: William Carter - Part II

William Carter: Tinsmith and Family Head


[sequel of Part I]

With his new money, Carter, on his mid fourties, probably felt he was ready to get married, and in 1895, William G. Carter wedded Elizabeth M. O'Brien.

Elizabeth was born around 1862 (she's 16 years younger than William), in the State of New York, from irish immigrants [Jeremiah O'Brien (1835-1880) and Mary D. Donovan (1822-1901)], who married in Albion (Dec 5, 1858). "Lizzie" is milliner.



That is also in 1895 (4th of July), that William and Elizabeth have a son : James Adelbert [this mean the child was conceived before marriage :) ]

Elizabeth has one brother, Daniel F. O'Brien (oct 1859 (Albion)-09/20/1915), who is a butcher, settled in Albion too. This is also in 1895 that Daniel marries his wife Bridget (they will have a son, Daniel, in 1903).

In 1898, William and Elizabeth have a second child : Mary Louise, born on 21st of July.
And in 1900, another daughter, Mabel Elizabeth, born on 1st of June.



The 1900 census sheet is interesting, because we learn that the Carters live in Main street. Albion Main street is - as it indicated by its name - the biggest and longest street of the town. However, 2 families before having made the survey at the Carters, the enquirer was in Liberty Street, and 5 families later, he is in Orchard street.
This helps to locate the Carters' home at the very North end of Main street, near the Erie Canal.

The following map dates of 1880, and in 1900, almost any building of this very part of Main street has been skimmed over and rebuilt in the 1880s. However, the environment stayed the same :



In 1905, the census sheet notes that William Carter is Tinsmith (at home) and in the type of activity box, adds (o.a.). I suppose it means "own activity". So, Carter works on his own and at his home. He has no shop, and I assume he is a kind of subcontractor of one or several shops/craftsmen in Albion.
Also, the census shows that Elizabeth is also milliner at home, but in the activity box, we can read Emp., meaning that Mrs Carter works for a clothing shop.



1908 is a very informative year for us. Indeed, the only Albion City directory available in the archives dates of that year, and it is also more or less the year that several postcards of Albion were published.

What is bizarre in the directory, is that William doesn't appear anywhere. Contrarywise, Elizabeth is listed twice in the regular list, as a milliner, but also through the advertisment she published! She is associated with Mrs. Julia Kirby, and their shop is located at the 1st floor of the 55 Main Street.



Elizabeth appears a fourth time in the directory, as 1st Vice-President of the St Joseph lodge. St Joseph is the cathotlic parish and is lead by the Rev. Francis Sullivan. On the postcard below, we even can see the Rev. Sullivan on the flight of steps of his parsonage, and the building on the left is (probably) the school of the Carter's children.



It is not immediately possible to locate the 55 main street on a current Albion map, since the street numbers have totally changed since. But I checked any line of the directory (!) and crossing it with the Street directory page, a "souvenir book" dating of 1905 and some postcards, I have been able to draw this 1908 map, with the shops and their owner/tenant.



So, the Carter living and working at the 55 (the ground level being occupied by Peter H. Peters, a harness maker), it became possible to show you their place. The first floor probably for Elizabeth's millinery shop (with the 2 white shades), and the second for William's workshop and Carter's home (currently the #125).


In the City Directory, we also learn that Daniel O'Brien's (Elizabeth's brother) shop, the Meat Market, is located 121 Main St., that is, exactly next to the Hotel McMann (probably the one where William was living when bachelor, and invented the Nasalette).



The Hotel McMann, now The Gurney's Olde Coach Inn, in which the Nose Flute may have been invented (just besides the small Meat Market of Carter's future brother-in-law):



Another interesting fact (for obsessed people like me) is this one : On an early picture, not dated but probably around 1900 or maybe earlier), we can see the shop located at 98 Main St. This shop is hold by Mr Eugene W. Wilcox, and is a hardware store.



Mr. Wilcox is an eminent member of the Executive Comittee of the Albion Chamber of Commerce, and is not all a tinsmith or a craftsman. He is a merchant. Here in 1905 :



Now, in 1907-08, the front of the shop has changed. E.W. Wilcox is still the owner, but an extra sign has been added. With just a little effort, we can read "TINSMITH" on it.



So, in 1908, Wilcox is able to accept orders of tincraft. And being not himself a tinsmith, he certainly had to subcontract the business... You see my point?

The shop still exists, and is still a hardware shop:




In 1909, the Carters moved to Rochester.


To be continued!


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On the same topic :

- Nose Flute Pioneers: William G. Carter - Part I
- Nose Flute Pioneers: William G. Carter - Part II
- Nose Flute Pioneers: William G. Carter - Part III
- Nose Flute Pioneers: Ernest W. Davis - Part I
- Nose Flute Pioneers: Ernest W. Davis - Part II
- Nose Flute Pioneers: Nelson Ronsheim
- Nose Flute Pioneers: Garrett J. Couchois

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