In an age of mass-production of just about everything, handcrafted items call for a special kind of love. Belgian musican and intrument maker Winnie Clement belongs to the shrinking population that makes things by hand. He describes each instrument he makes as “handcrafted sound sculptures”.
The process of making a flute, for example, is long – it can take years – but it is absolutely extraordinary, and a lesson in meditation. The short documentary, The Birth of a Flute, made by Onno van Ameijde, depicts Clement at work in various stages, accompanied by an evocative soundtrack by Zeger Vandenbussche.
Clement’s specialty is experimental flutes, like the Scandinavian fujara flute, overtone flutes, single and double shepherd flutes and whistles, and his own hybrid designs. “As a musician, I like to hear, feel, smell, and look at something special and unique when it comes to instruments,” he says on his website. A lack of high-quality instruments drove Clement into making his own back in 2004.