We lost Stephen O'Donnell to a tragic airplane crash in 1997. A master woodworker, he applied his craft and love of music to the Watershed Flute with enormously successful results. I had the opportunity to talk with Stephen many times over the years and was always impressed by his passion and enthusiasm for the flutemaking process. He strived incessantly to improve and perfect his wonderful instruments.
The Watershed Flute is a cross between the Native North American
flute and European woodwind. It connects the endearing timbre
of ancient American flutes with European precision and clarity.
Each flute has a strong, clear tone with brilliant harmonics and
the accuracy needed for solo or group performance. With the Watershed
Flute, you can play a wide range of musical styles including the
entire Native repertoire as well as American folk songs or European
classical arias. Gregorian chants are a natural. These instruments
are precisely tuned and conform to classical standards. Watershed
Flutes are made of cedar or figured maple. Rosewood, rather than
brass or plastic, is used to make the voice of the instrument
creating overtones that are clear and compelling as well as a
warm sound and lively response.
The Watershed Flute plays achromatic scale ranging an octave and a half (17 notes) and is available in nine different keys: High D, C, B, A, G, F#, F, E and Low D. Please specify when ordering. (G is the most popular key and is closest to the average pitch of traditional native flutes.) Fingering chart and instructions for care included.
Watershed Flutes are made by Stephen O'Donnell of Viola, Wisconsin who is an exceptional craftsman and fine woodworker.