My Square Flute Story

The Last Day I Played My Flute 



It all started as a cold, snowy, morning in Chicago and I had no idea that my life was going to change forever. I don’t remember what I played that day, but I can remember being very warm and happy with the beautiful sound from my Muramatsu flute. I sat quietly, looking at my flute before putting it away.I had no idea it would be the last time I would ever see it. 

I packed the flute away in my small green traveling bag, collected my clothes and belongings and packed up the car to head to my brother in law’s home. We decided to stop and pick up some food for the family before heading home, so we parked across the street from a church in a residential neighborhood and walked to a recommended pizza shop. When we got back into the SUV, my wife felt a draft in the car and called out for us to stop the car. She yelled, “Someone broke into our car!” and the cold draft soon turned into an icy fear that the instrument I loved so much could be gone. I ran out to the back of the SUV where I saw the rear seat window broken and the little green bag nowhere in sight. Words cannot properly express how I felt at that moment. I lost all feeling.

 My instinct took over and I ran to all of the trash cans in sight to find my green bag. Thirty minutes later, I found my bag and most of its belongings scattered on the bottom of a dirty dumpster bin. My flute was gone. I lost my balance on the cold icy streets and fell to the ground. I sat there on the ground looking around and feeling lost. When some time had passed, I called the Chicago police and filed a report. In the months that followed I posted my report to various stolen flute lists online and social media networks, but there was no word on the location of my flute. There is not one day that goes by that I do not make a phone call to a pawn shop or search online for my instrument. For those who have dedicated their life to music, we know that this is a pain that is almost impossible to comfort. 


In the wake of that horrible event, my friend and colleague Leonard Lopatin stepped in to offer some help. 



When my flute was taken from me in Chicago, it was Leonard who sent me one of his brand new SquareOne flutes to use for some of my symphonic and studio gigs here in Los Angeles on a “long term” trial. Given that I was familiar with Leonard’s wonderful instruments, I was able to adjust very quickly to the new instrument and fulfill my professional obligations. It was on Lenny’s flute that I played in a music video with Aloe Blacc at Red Bull Studios and played in several orchestra performances with ease. Later that year, Lopatin asked me about the search for a new instrument and offered to build a new flute for me. After six months of testing many professional flutes, none of them left an impression on me as much as the Lopatin flute. I contacted Lenny and told him that I was committed to purchasing one of his instruments and wanted to start production. Knowing that I live in Los Angeles, where apartment rates average about $2000 a month, Lenny even worked with me and offered to set up a flexible payment plan for as long as it took for me to acquire the funds. By April of 2015, I was the happy owner of the Square One flute! His kindness and empathy served as a reminder that there are good people in this world and how a  gesture of compassion can manifest into a life changing path. I have never been happier. Thank you Lenny!


The ironic thing is that if I did not go through this horrible tragedy, I probably would have never opened myself to what is now the best instrument I have ever played on. Now as I play on this square flute, my sound, energy, ideas, and intent are rejuvenated by this incredible act of kindness. Every note that I play is evidence that there is good in the world and my job now is to string those notes together to share that message with others!



Click below to learn more about Leonard Lopatin's Square Tone Hole Flutes







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