Friday, 30 August 2013

Hammy Hamilton, Maker

          Wooden flute maker Hammy Hamilton also makes piccolos in his shop in Macroom, Co. Cork. The above piccolo is one he made for Jim Gornall. As can be seen he makes both keyed and keyless pics and concert flutes with up to eight keys. He also makes flutes in other pitches including E and B. I asked him a few questions about his piccolos. Here is his reply:

When did you make your first piccolo? What inspired you to try and make s pic?

I made my first piccolo in 2000...although I had made fifes for quite a while before that. I think part of the inspiration was the research I'd done into commercial recordings for my PhD, where I discovered that the piccolo was quite a significant instrument in the American recordings in the 1920s.

Do you make many? Do you play piccolo much yourself?

To date I've made 13, and I have a few ( I think 4) on order at the moment.
I don't play it too much myself, and in fact don't currently have one, but you've given me the idea that I should make one for myself when I'm doing these next ones. I have a piece of cocus that's just about big enough

Do you know or have you met any older players?

The only "older" player that I know ( in fact I think he's younger than me!) is Jim Gornall.
One player that you might not be aware of is the Japanese player know as Hatao, who plays one of my piccolos. Quite a few of my instruments have gone to Japan, largely due to his influence. 

(I have been planning to do a post on Hatao and will try and contact him)

All the best,
Hammy Hamilton

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