Swedish recorder maker Ragnar Arvidsson

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI am an engineer and musician. I have played the recorder since I was a teenager, in a series of different ensembles through the years.  Recorders often have problems.  Because I am technically-minded I soon started to try to solve these problems on my own.  I also happened on hand-made instruments and became fascinated by that process.  The idea of trying it myself awakened.  In the summer of 1983 I decided to get going and acquired the first essential machine, a wood lathe. In the summer of 1985 I attended a recorder-making course in Austria, taught by Alec Loretto.  It was there that I found the solutions to many of my remaining problems.  The first recorders I made for customers were delivered in 1988.  Since then recorders I have made have ended up all over the map from Piteå (in the very north of Sweden) to Barcelona and South Korea.

I have studied historical flutes in different museums in Rome, Vienna, Moscow, Nuremburg, Prague and other places.  Examples are an important and essential starting place, but I have also been delighted by how useful my scientific background as a M.Sc. Electrical Engineer has proved.  It has made it possible for me to understand the foundational physical connections in a flute.  Knowledge from my practical experience as an engineer has also inspired me in new experiments in the area of recorders.