Took my new little UP3 ogg player out for my walk this morning. Five
miles again (might actually be a little longer, or I may just be walking
more slowly than I used to). Nice and clear. There was a nasty moment
when I heard childrens' voices over "Paper Pings", but it wasn't there
when I checked again on the way home. Not on the CD, which I was playing
in the car, nor on the player when I pulled over by the Rose Garden and
gave it a careful listen. Must have been in the background when I was
Came home (after looking for whistles at Guitar Center and coming up
empty, as expected) and looked online. Turns out A whistles are
generally considered "low whistles" and are somewhat scarce, though I
turned them up at Susato who seem to have a very complete and not terribly expensive
The best website I've found so far appears to be Chiff & Fipple: The Tinwhistle
Internet Experience. From the FAQ:
Q: What is a tinwhistle?
A: Ok. The tinwhistle, also called a pennywhistle, a tin whistle, a penny
whistle, or just plain "whistle," is an end-blown fipple flute which
utilizes the 6-hole, "simple" flute fingering system. This is an old
system that predates modern "Boehm" flutes. In popular usage, the word
"fipple" often refers to the sound generating system in which air is blown
through a channel, split by a blade--which causes turbulence in the
area--which produces vibration--which produces sound. And so on. The
6-hole system consists of open, unkeyed holes, normally covered by your
fingers and uncovered in various patterns to produce notes. The 6-hole
system also appears on instruments such as fifes, bamboo flutes, 10-speed
bicycles and many Tex-Mex chili dishes.
I started looking for an A whistle because I've been hearing a
countermelody for "Someplace in the Net" that I think would work well on a
whistle. But even if I'd found one, and even if I could play it straight
off without practicing (HAH!), I don't think there's time to get it onto
the CD, which is close enough to done that I'm actively looking for things
not to fix. For example, the drum parts on "Guilty Pleasures"
and "Wannabe" would benefit from fixing a couple of missed beats.
Worthwhile? Probably not. If I started tweaking those I might
not come up for air until next week sometime. That would be bad.
After the album is in the can, I'm going to get back to flute,
recorder, and whistle. Really. Meanwhile, I have verified that my Yamaha
recorder can be tuned a quarter-tone flat. Evil is possible. OK, it's
not as potentially evil as what you could do with a 12-string.
Tracks worked on this afternoon: "Little Computing Machine": pulled up
the guitar part a little. "Vampire Megabyte": pulled up a too-quiet word
at the start of the last verse. Decided that "Daddy's World" is just fine
without a percussion part. So I can stick a fork in that one, too.