The Recorder Player's Page

Music & Recorder Innovations by Craig Carmichael



The other woodwind and brass instruments got improved in the 1800s with louder sound and fully chromatic keys or valves. Orchestral strings went from gut strings to louder wound metal strings and sturdier construction. Recorder development ssemed to stall in the 1700s. But recorder has a beautiful, unique sound. I felt sure that by breaking free of traditional recorder design ideas, it should be possible to create
the best recorders in the world.

With no recorder makers being interested, I started working in fall 2003 on such a design, with my new inventions in it. I made and bought tools and jigs, found sources for obscure supplies, and I learned fine woodworking, "jewelers" metalworking for making keys, and some pottery skills.
Along the road new ideas arose that made it even better. It took until fall 2005 to work out the various "bugs" associated with any new design, but I am now able to supply instruments that musicians will be pleased or even proud to own. (Unfortunately, it wasn't until around 2008, after I quit making them, that I really got good at recorder voicing - sigh! Before that, many if not most of them sounded a little "hissy".)

These strong and flexible alto recorders are fine general mixed ensemble instruments that fit in with flutes, clarinets, string quartets, pianos, guitars and so on without apology. They are available in models from regular baroque fingered to the 7-key fully keyed "orchestra ready" recorders with no weak forked fingerings, all with the strongest achievable sound, over 2-1/2 octaves range, the ability to fine-tune and play dynamics, and a lovely pitch-vibrato.

People like the sound. I often play in jam sessions with guitars et al and singing and it's appreciated. And I've been playing for a couple of years with a pianist who definitely prefers the sound of the supercorder to that of flutes, which she also plays with.

In March 2014 I joined a small concert band with players of various ability, and which had just one flute and no oboe. (Also no french horns and 3 alto saxes - not ideally balanced.) I've been playing oboe parts, and second flute parts when I'm available. In May a second flute player joined. But the conductor asked me to continue doubling flute parts since she likes the tone so much and said "The flutes can sound so thin." (And she's a flute player!) The supercorder gives gives the section more body. In louder passages with many instruments or the whole band playing, as one would expect I'm struggling for volume and the sound is less than prominent, and on a few notes where putting down an extra finger on a lower hole or key gives a bit stronger sound, I generally use it. (...low octave C, C#, D & E.) I'm not very often working to play extra quietly with my lip off the pitch-raising hole. In general it seems about as loud as the flutes and my solos and harmonies mostly come through nicely. In September 2014 the band grew from 15 to over 20 players, and in September 2015, to about 25. An oboe player joined but everything seemed to work out well. (And 2 french horns!) I was away from the band September and October 2015, and when I returned, 2 or 3 players seemed very glad I was back. They said there seemed to be something missing without my sound!

February 2015: Low notes suddenly started overblowing. Very annoying! I finally noticed a fine crack has developed in the head of my pau ferro supercorder, by the tenon! Rats! February 2016: Well, a little cork grease seemed to cure the overblowing without doing anything else. No problems since.

Alto Recorder For Every Mood

A collection of one and two page solos and duets, some of which may be played on many instruments in addition to alto recorder. GIF image sheet music.

Top, Middle and Bottom Trios

Works for three melody instruments: Soprano, Treble and Baritone. I've played them on Alto Recorder with Clarinet, Oboe or Violin and French Horn or Cello. No doubt flute could substitute for recorder, and many other good combinations are possible.

List of My Compositions

Price List for My Compositions (Sheet Music)

Solos, Duets, Trios, Misc, "Consort Orchestra"

Aug 2003: My Music Recordings (MP3s)

A few recordings of my music, from live or with a sound studio. (Unfortuanately, nothing even remotely professional)

Wood for Instrument Making

Woodwind Turning Squares, Guitar parts (still a few things available December 2014.)

Other Interests

Democracy and Governance

There are some basic things lacking in all our half-evolved democratic systems. Today, people are becoming far more educated than in the past, and we are developing our powers of critical thinking. Old ways that haven't evolved with the advancing societies they spawned are today causing serious systemic problems.
   Furthermore, the internet can now allow us to examine, discuss and vote directly on issues at a low cost instead of handing all of our social decision-making power over to representatives who often don't represent us well. If we only wake up and see the possibilities, it will allow us to move beyond antiquated forms and procedures and restore citizen control over our governing institutions: Hands-On Democracy!

Hands-On Democracy - How to Run a World
- This is a new writing intended to introduce and tie the other ideas together. [2016/02/05 first draft - 2016/02/21 current version]

Fundamental Principles of Democratic Government - towards utopian systems of governance - a booklet

Improved Techniques For Civic Governance
 - An e-mail group list can connect concerned citizens and government officials.
    When hundreds or thousnads of people vote and have a consensus of what they want done,
    they can hardly be ignored by elected officials, who will also be "in the loop" all along.
 - An Election Campaign Central web site will become THE place for campaign videos or statements by all candidates,
    placed at no cost. Everyone may comment and ask questions, and candidates to respond if they choose to.
    It removes money from the election campaigning equation. - The Referendum Site - My proposed site to allow referendums by anyone on any topic, with interactive choice ranking voting.

Closely related...
Social Sustainability   -   Principles and methods for creating a loving, caring civilization for all future time   -   by Daniel Raphael, PhD

A few heath & well-being ideas

Migraine Prevention
Safe, Effective Removal of Skin Polyps (Skin Tags, Papillomas)
Healing "Accupressure" Massage for Chronic Soft Tissue Injuries
All on one web page - Four Health/wellbeing Writeups:
- Improving Vision - a cure for shortsightedness?
- Improving near vision while ageing
- Home-done Dental "Fillers" (Dental "Fillings" substitute) [hmm... these don't seem to be lasting very long, at least as I've been doing them.]
- Why Men go Bald But Women Don't - a new Theory and a simple way to possibly prevent (or even reverse?) hair loss.

Our Amazing Solar System - The space science community today has developed some weird ideas and theories, arrived at by selectively interpreting data to fit a theory, usually from an instrument they're involved with, while ignoring or misinterpreting much other evidence, and by lack of creative imagination and visual perception. And they don't question previous work by their peers, so the original mistakes have piled up on top of each other leading to more mistakes.
But I studied much actual data, images and evidence from the Galileo, Cassini and Huygens space missions myself, as well as what was being reported. I too had some unsound ideas for a while, but I changed them when new data or information didn't fit. For some years now, each new finding or report (mostly about Titan since the Cassini is still orbiting Saturn and doing flybys), while often puzzling space scientists and presenting them with a "new" mystery outside their current perceptual models, has simply reinforced my main points, indicating that they will some day be validated, including those that seem absurd to most people today.

Life in the Solar System
Living Titan
Living Ganymede
Planetary Exploration Updates, summer 2008 (with various further updates 2008 to present.)
Various more recent, clearer conceptions of what's up, on Titan and on airless icy worlds of the central solar system (Jupiter-Saturn areas).

Origin of Pluto and Triton  (My theory on how they would both have formed from the tidal disruption of a larger world by Neptune. 2014)

Renewable Energy & Electric Transport - projects and inventions

Turquoise Energy: Green Energy Projects Site, products catalog (2006-)
Turquoise Energy News V1 - monthly newsletters 2008-2012
Turquoise Energy News V2 - monthly newsletters 2013-

Turquoise Energy DIY - 'How To' Manuals:
- Electric Hubcap & Electric Caik 7 KW, 4.5KW, [unipolar] BLDC Pancake Motor
- Electric Weel Motor (26" rotor, 5" thick 20 KW "triple" version)
- Turquoise [unipolar] BLDC Motor Controller
- Mildly Alkaline "Forever" Life Battery Chemistries (Ni-Mn (over 2 volts!), Ni-Ni (high current 1.2V))

The Turquoise Energy "Modular" Permanent Magnet Generator (old 2006: items above are much better... Improved Piggott generator design 2016 see TE News V2)
A powerful 3-phase PMG machine: an electrical generator or synchronous motor easily made at home

Last Updates of this index page:
* Until 2014, updates weren't logged.
* 2014/07/03 (gosh, a paragraph of actual Supercorder news; Origin of Pluto & Triton)
* 2014/12/26 Added a page with 4 health/well-being writeups, edited and improved this page a little.
* 2016/02/05 Added "Hands-On Democracy"
* 2016/12/15 Added "Social Sustainability"