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 (Ulihelisdi)

(Cherokee for "Welcome")

Osiyo  (Cherokee for "hello")...

Welcome to the cyberspace home of Turtle Mound Flutes. Native American flutes sing a soothing, meditative song that many believe has a healing power. Turtle Mound Flutes shares this belief and promotes the making, playing, and listening to these wonderful instruments.

Let me walk you through what you will find at this site...

Native American Style Flutes

We craft high quality wooden flutes in the Native American style, each themed with images of an animal. In tribute to my Cherokee heritage, I give each flute the Cherokee name for its animal. Check out our most recently made flutes on our Flutes For Sale page, and earlier examples on our More Flutes page.

As the popularity of our flutes has grown, so have been the orders for custom flutes. If you can envision a theme for your special flute, let's talk about making it a reality. See examples of our custom work on our Custom Flutes page. 

Knock-About Flutes

In addition to our wooden flutes, we also make a more rugged version of this style flute that we call our Knock-About Flutes. These use a heavier gauge of PVC than most similar flutes and have the sound mechanism crafted in the same manner as with our wooden flutes. This produces a sound that more closely resembles that of wooden flutes than most other PVC flutes on the market.

In addition to providing a lower cost option for the first-time flute buyer, many of our knock-about flutes are bought by experienced players to have an extremely durable flute to keep in their cars, throw in their suitcase for travel, take back-packing, or just knock-about with.

New for 2014, we've added bigger bore flutes in the lower, more mellow keys of F, E, and E♭ to our long standing A, G, and F# flutes. Check them all out on our Knock-About Flutes page.

Hand Drums

In addition to our flutes, we offer a line of hand painted Native American style hand drums to play alone or to accompany your flute music. The designs used on these deerskin and elk skin rawhide instruments are either of authentic Native American origin or represent scenes depicting animals in nature.

NOTICE: We will discontinue our hand drum line when the current inventory is sold out. Click here to see which drums remain.

UPDATE: Only the 18" Cherokee Water Spider drum remains.

Artful Guitars

The most recent addition to the Turtle Mound Flutes lineup of musical instruments incorporating our pyrographic (wood-burning) artwork is our line of guitars. All of our guitars are carefully assembled and set up for easy playing in our facilities, and incorporate electronic components so that they may be played through an amplifier for larger audiences.

Our first guitar model is our hybrid classical / electric guitar, ideal for accompanying the Native American flute in duo arrangements or in larger groups. These guitars begin with the basic nylon-stringed classical guitar and add features, like strap buttons and fret markers, making them easy to adapt to by steel-string guitar players. The softer, more mellow sounds of the nylon strings are ideal for accompanying Native American style flutes. Click here to learn more about our nylon-string guitars.

We now also offer a steel-string acoustic / electric guitar for those who prefer the clear ringing tones of a folk/western flat-top acoustic guitar with steel strings. Click here to learn more about our steel-string guitars.

These instruments feature the same beautiful artwork as on our Native American style flutes, with either Nature-Themed or Patriot-Theme images . Check them out on our Guitars page.

Native American Flute & Guitar Songbooks

Our first songbook for the Native American flute, A Song A Week for the Native American Flute & Accompanying Guitar features 52 time-honored, public domain songs in symbolic "flutie" tablature under guitar chord symbols. (All songs also include the lyrics for sing-alongs.) The flute and guitar play together beautifully and this book not only provides the tablature for many songs that the flute player is probably already familiar with, but also shows how chorded instruments can be played to accompanying the flute.

This songbook is accompanied by a pair of companion audio CDs. Each of the songs in the book has 3 tracks on a CD: one with the flute and guitar parts played together, and one tracks for each of the instruments by itself. Not only may the solo instrument tracks be used to learn that instrument's part, but the other may be used for accompaniment. 

Visit our Songbook page for a more detailed description of this book, including a PDF excerpt from the book to check it out.

Knock-About Flute Kits

If you would like to make your own flute, we now offer a Knock-About Flute Kit. This kit contains all of the parts you need to construct your own Knock-About Flute, along with a detailed, highly illustrated instruction booklet. The PVC tube is the same heavy "schedule 80" material used in our commercial Knock-About Flutes, and is pre-machined to provide a flat nest area and flue. Other parts in the kit include a pre-drilled hardwood mouthpiece (either cherry or walnut), a pre-shaped cedar block, a cork barrier, and deerskin laces (to hold the block to the nest area). All you need are some simple hand tools, including a drill, needle files, a hacksaw, and sandpaper, to create a beautiful, durable flute. Add your favorite wood finish to the wooden parts and decorate to suit your spirit and you are done.

Native American Flute Music by Mark Hicks, Cherokee

We are honored to carry CDs by Cherokee flute player, Mark Hicks. Mark plays a soothing, mellow style flute that is great for meditation or just relaxing. Be sure to check them out, with sound clip samples, on our CDs page.

And more...

Also visit our Legends page for some interesting myths and legends surrounding the Native American Flute. In particular, enjoy the beautiful painting of the woodpecker by our dear friend, Dr. Frances Rinaldi, that illustrates the Legend of the First Flute.

Also visit our Extras page, where our friends have sent us poems and such for us to share with you. Please visit it and enjoy the beauty to be found there. A recent addition to this page is the beautiful artwork of our dear friend, Joyce Bugaiski.


See Who's Playing Our Instruments

Our Turtle Mound Flutes instruments have found their way into the hands of some outstanding musicians. Below are some of them:

Jan with John (the flute maker) at the 2008 Oklahoma Flute Festival

Jan's soundtrack CD, featuring a song
 on her Turtle Mound Flutes flute

Jan Seiden

Immediately captivating, Jan's soulful eloquence transports listeners to an inner tranquil state, a journey of imagination and healing that endures far beyond the performance itself. Seiden’s evocative artistry on flutes from the ancient Anasazi people and other more contemporary indigenous nations flow with themes of nature and global unity.   

Nominated for the 2009 Native American Music Award (NAMA), 2-time nominee for the Indian Summer Music Awards, a 2006 recipient of an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council, and national First place winner of the 2002 Musical Echoes Native American flute competition, Seiden has performed at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian and many other concert stages across the U.S., both as a solo artist and sharing stages with numerous Grammy-winners.   

Ms. Seiden has presented at numerous federal agencies, including the U.S. EPA, USDA, and Dept. of Justice DEA where she was keynote speaker. Ms. Seiden’s music carries messages of global unity, peace and personal empowerment to international humanitarian conferences and indigenous gatherings throughout the U.S. and Canada.

She has appeared on CNN Headline News / Comcast and on Maryland Public TV for her healing work with the flute as presented at national medical and environmental health conferences and various hospital patient groups at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, among others. Her work with Washington DC inner city youth was funded by a grant in 2005 from the National Endowment for the Arts and Washington DC Arts Initiative.   

Ms. Seiden is Composer, Recording Artist, Engineer and Producer of the soundtrack for the Chickasaw Indian play, Te Ata. Funding for Ms. Seiden's work was provided by the Ford Foundation in partnership with the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian and award-winning Chickasaw playwright JudyLee Oliva. Te Ata’s 2012 season includes performances at Oklahoma City University and the Smithsonian’s NMAI.

One of the tracks on the Te Ata soundtrack features the Turtle Mound Flutes red cedar Tsulasgi ("alligator") flute in the key of E pictured with Jan in the photo to the left.

For more information on Jan Seiden please visit: www.janseiden.com

 

Billy Whitefox with John (the flute maker) playing the brother Turtle Mound Flute Uktena flutes at the 2012 Native Rhythms Festival.

Billy Whitefox

Billy Whitefox Stall is a Native American of the Southeastern Muskogee Creeks. As a tribal dancer in men's traditional dance Billy won many awards. He then began teaching tribal dance to youth and in 1985, was gifted his first flute by a student's father. It was a cedar flute given to him by Quana Parker, Jr., and of course this changed his life. With his interest now focused on tribal flute music, he sought knowledge from his Uncle Clyde concerning rivercane flutes.

He played his Native American Flute Music and made his Old-Style Rivercane Flutes for the next few years, until in 1998 he released his first professional CD, "Sacred Journey".

Billy was made Vice-Chief of the Red Heart Clan of Alabama in 2003, a significant event and great honor in his life. In 2009, Billy was asked to join the Southeastern Elders Council and was re-appointed by Governor Crist to his 3rd consecutive term as a Florida State Commissioner on Human Relations.

In 2005 Billy was awarded Flutist of the Year, winning that year's Native American Music Award or NAMA with the release of his second disk, entitled "When the Wind Sings".

Billy shares his Creek ancestry through international recordings of Native American flute music and storytelling. He enjoys touring the country sharing his music and stories of his heritage. Billy Whitefox is also a national champion Flute Maker, well known for his old-style techniques in making rivercane flutes.

 

Annette with her custom "Painted Raven" guitar from Turtle Mound Flutes at the 2011 Green Frog Moon Festival in Sarasota, FL

Annette Abbondanza (Painted Raven)

Drawing their inspiration from Mother Earth, Native culture, nature and wildlife, and combining the ancient Native American flute with today's modern instruments, is what creates the signature sound of Painted Raven, the Native American flute and guitar duo of Annette Abbondanza and David Rose.

Annette Abbondanza, self taught on guitar, keyboards, bass, drums, and several other instruments, has performed at many festivals, concerts and benefits across the country, while devoting most of her musical career to furthering the efforts of various charitable organizations, including Native American, social, environmental, and wildlife causes.  Annette draws her songwriting inspiration from her love and respect for the earth and all living creatures.  She has written, recorded, and produced two of her own CDs as well as the current CDs released by Painted Raven (Spirit Journey and Mirage) and many other area artists and youth. She has shared the stage with many folk music legends, including Tom Paxton for the live broadcast of the public radio production “The Chords are Stacked” at the historic Hershey Theatre.  Annette is from Pennsylvania but currently resides in Florida.  

Painted Raven's highly acclaimed CDs, Spirit Journey and Mirage, recently nominated for the 2012 Indian Summer Music Awards, are currently available for sale, with new recording projects on-going.

Additional information about Painted Raven is available online at: www.painted-raven.com

 

Here Mark is playing his red cedar Daksi ("turtle") flute from Turtle Mound Flutes at the 2012 Silverhawk Flute Festival at Withlacoochee River Park, Florida

Mark McGourley

Mark McGourley is a seasoned performer and multi-instrumentalist with over 25 years of professional experience. He started his career performing bass guitar, keyboards and lead vocals in a variety of cover bands throughout the Tampa Bay area. For the past 15 years he has focused more on his acoustic guitar and vocal abilities and has become a solid solo act performing at the top venues along the Suncoast beaches. 

More than 20 years ago Mark's mother gifted him his first Native American flute and he has been playing and composing on it ever since. He has written several hundred tunes largely inspired by nature and many of these peaceful songs are based on melodies created with the NA flute. His original performances feature selections which are sure to soothe the soul from his debut CD titled "Universe Dance" as well as tunes from his upcoming second album focusing on NA flute, guitar and percussion.

In 2009, Mark performed as guitarist with world premier NA flutist R. Carlos Nakai and multi-Grammy nominee world percussionist Will Clipman. Over the past three years Mark has performed at several NA flute festivals and events in the U.S. and his performance of “Kokopelli's Dance” is featured on the “Live from the 2010 Native Rhythms Festival” compilation CD along with many of the world’s top NA flute artists. 

He was selected and performed at the 2012 INAFA Convention where he premiered his "Universe Dance Visual Concert" and officially released his debut CD. He also launched his first tour of the midwest this summer to promote this powerful live show. The studio version of his music synchronized to his nature video is available on DVD and his second CD "Celestial Spirits" is scheduled for release in 2013. 

For more more information and audio-visual demos please visit Mark’s website at www.markmcgourley.com.


When you're in the Central Florida area, stop by and visit us at the Indian River Flute Circle. We meet the 2nd Tuesday of each month, between 6:00 and 8:00 in the evening, at the Central Brevard Library (308 Forrest Ave., northeast of S.R.520 and U.S.1) in Cocoa, FL.

The circle also offers free performances at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Titusville on the last Saturday of January, April, July, and October (normally at 10AM).

For more info, visit us at:
groups.yahoo.com/group/flutecircle

or contact Laura Clark at 321-268-5473.

Our events are informal and encourage, but do not require, participation from anyone interested in sharing, playing, learning more about, or just listening to Native American style flutes.

We hope you will visit these pages often, as we are constantly adding new content. 

Wado (Cherokee for "Thank You").


 
Send mail to webmaster@turtlemoundflutes.com with questions or comments about this web site.