"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."

"Don't think, feel....it is like a finger pointing towards the moon. Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory!" -Bruce Lee

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


James' xaphoon turned up today! For some reason it sounds like a loud angry duck when I get near it, but when played properly it sounds just like a sax! The Xaphoon is made by Brian Wittman, a Maui resident who invented the instrument more than 20 years ago:

"I have made over 15,000 such instruments in the past 20 years, all because of a single instrument I made on the whim of a child. The young lad lived with his mother in a tent in the woods, and heard me playing the sax (the expensive metal variety). He approached respectfully and then boldly asked if perhaps I had a little one he could play. Why not? I fiddled around and whittled a small end-blown block flute out of bamboo. Its tone was wheezy and small, and satisfied neither of us. I had a small grinding wheel I was using to shape some wooden boat cleats, and in sudden inspiration I applied the flute to the wheel and ground off the whole corner of the mouthpiece at an angle, re-shaping it to take a sax reed. The child was delighted and couldn't wait to have it, so I passed it on, but immediately made myself another, this time a bit longer, and I made the mouthpiece first so I could hear the pitch as I located the finger holes. Somehow by chance I ended up with a serviceable scale in E, and I couldn't put it down. I even played it one-handed as I drove into town, not noticing the speedometer was reading 80 until I heard the sirens."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Very interesting and informative blog.

I have just invented a new instrument called the Saxinet which I thought you and your readers might be interested in. The Saxinet combines elements of chalumeau, clarinet, recorder and saxophone. The Saxinet is only 13.5" or 15" long, so sou can take the Saxinet anywhere. I believe that it could also become an important tool in music education.

Please have a look at my website or go directly to www.Saxinet.com . I'd be very happy to discuss this further with you or answer any questions you might have.

All the best,
Duncan Gillis
Northwind Instruments