The Pied Piper of Jaffray
Jaffray resident, Scott Buxton, was tree planting near Prince George one summer during his youth and decided to take along his flute to play during his work breaks.
Like magic, he’s now owner of Simply Bamboo, a thriving business in Jaffray that came out of his love of flute music and the teachings of his uncle.
“About 20 years ago, I began playing the flute,” Buxton said. “I spent a lot of time hiking in the mountains and when I went to Prince George to plant trees, I wanted to bring along something lightweight and easy to pack. My uncle Rob Yard is a flute-maker, so I gave him a call and had him send me a set.”
Little did Buxton know, he said, what kind of adventure that “magical” set of flutes would take him on, including travelling to Virginia to begin apprenticing with his uncle. Buxton harvests his own bamboo south of the border. About 13 years ago, he planted a bamboo crop on a friend’s property and returns there to harvest it for making his instruments.
“Now the bamboo flute has become a full-time business, taking me to Florida each year to harvest the bamboo with my uncle and his family and travelling to music festivals and craft shows around Canada.”
The bamboo is used to make beautiful-looking (and sounding) flutes, recorders, panpipes, didgeridoos and loon calls.
“It is a wonderful thing to make music and an honour for me to provide quality instruments that are affordable to everyone,” Buxton says. He also gives instructions on how to play each instrument.
Remember the recorder in Grade 7? Most budding music students try to forget it. However, Buxton’s bamboo recorder is modeled after the Irish tin whistle and is suitable for playing all the classic Irish gigs and reels.
It’s an excellent instrument for beginning musicians of all ages, says Buxton.
The Renaissance flute, an ancestor to the modern flute, is side-blown with six finger holes and, besides the drum, is one of the oldest instruments. The Renaissance flute’s been called – because of its simplicity – the “voice of the human spirit.”
Buxton also makes pan pipes in all keys up to two and half octaves pentatonic or diatonic.
“Each tube can produce one note and several tones by varying the pressure and direction of breath and shape of mouth. Once a good sound is achieved, you can play a series of notes in the patterns of songs.”
In his poem, Viva La Musica, Rob Yard says:
Music we are and music we are always becoming, our heart a drum, our voice, thunder, the pulse of blood the river flowing in our inner world. Music we are, our life is tuned by these rhythms. It is our song.
Buxton takes special orders and mail orders. Please allow the necessary time for production and shipping. For more information e-mail email@example.com or call Buxton at
By Teresa Mallam
Prince George Free Press