The Snake River Flute Story
The Snake River Flute Story
by Jon Stravers
I crafted my first flute in January of 2002 out of a piece of hickory
that was surplus from a friend’s remodeling project. By following
the specifications from a book by Lew Paxton Price I came out with a
perfect A flute that has become my standard. David Lupien of High Mountain
Drums burned a snake design on it, and I carved a lizard effigy out of
a deer antler. I took it to a sacred place in the Snake River Canyon
to field test it, and was amazed with the results. The sound of the flute
echoing off of ancient rock faces, and mingling with the songs of the
wind, birds, and river is something I wish for everyone to experience.
The Ravens, Golden Eagles, and Prairie Falcons seemed to listen and interpret
the notes of my flute into their calls and intricate sky dances. I began
to perceive time on a much grander scale and felt deeply connected to
my place and purpose in creation. I have always experienced nature as
a conversation, but this time I had a tool that allowed me to speak the
same language that I was hearing. From this experience the vision for
Snake River flutes was born. Our mission is to share this magic that
happens when music meets nature.
Like most children in the U.S., my first instrument was the recorder.
The recorder may be an easy instrument to play, but it is not easy to
make one sound good. It takes a combination of breath control and dexterity
that is difficult for children at a young age. The Native American flute
is a far superior instrument for beginners. The scale is simple and its
melodies are enchanting even in the hands of a beginner. It is easy for
a child to create a pleasant clear tone, and the oblong shape of the
flute is easy to hold.
It is a special gift to receive a unique handmade instrument.
This encourages respect, confidence, and individuality in the musician.
As Snake River
Flutes and The Heart Song School of Music and Nature we have crafted
over 100 flutes specifically for children. Through school programs,
private lessons, and workshops we offer the gift of music to all
you are interested in this opportunity for a child or a school contact The
Heart Song Music Adventures.
Meet the Artists
Kristen Talbot grew up in eastern Oregon on the banks of the Snake River.
As a child she developed a great love for nature and continued on to
work as a whitewater rafting guide and a wilderness survival guide. Kristen
is a diverse and talented artist. She is accomplished in the arts of
weaving, beading, painting, wood burning (pyrography), and mothering.
Her artwork on our flutes and didgeridoos is gaining attention nationwide.
Mixing traditional images and methods with her own modern style, she
creates tasteful and vibrant pieces.
Jon Stravers has been playing and writing music for over 20 years. Working
with all ages, Jon is dedicating his energy to share the healing and
unifying power of the arts, especially music, dance, and ecology. Having
traveled extensively as a biologist and environmental educator, Jon now
enjoys life as a father, artist and teacher in Boise’s fabulous
North End. Jon is the Musical Director of the Children’s Dance
Institute, and the founder of two collaborative musical communities,
The Unity Ensemble and Big Blue Sky. Through his Heart
Song Music Adventures he has developed an intuitive approach to unlocking musical and personal
potential in students of all ages. One of Jon’s
passions is crafting Native American Flutes.
December 13, 2003, Kristen gave birth to our son Jonah Chiricahua Stravers.
Jonah is a child of music and nature. He began blowing on flutes
and banging on drums at 4 months old. Now, at 18 months he is already
beginning to show us his unique musical taste. Not a day passes without
Jonah playing some musical instrument. Having a child and experiencing
the world with him has deepened our relationship with Creator, and each
other. We are thankful to our community of friends who have supported