In South America, one uses a large variety of
panpipes. Spanish called them by a generic term: zampoñas.
But each flute has its name in Indian language. These names can vary
from one place to another of the Andes Cordillera. For me to recognize
among tens of flutes of which I play, I deliberately chose to use
for each flute
the name most usually used in France. I learned these names
that I côtoie. There exists in the Andes cordillera much
of other flutes.
This page presents only the flutes of cane and bamboo
which I use
I did not record my flutes yet: that
could not delay!
The flutes that I present to you below train the
family of the sikus
(to pronounce [siku]) and are usable unit to form an
which can consist of hundreds of flutists in the Andes. All these
are made of bamboo to the very fine walls which give to a sound very
rich in harmonics. I manufacture all the panpipes which I
It is the basic panpipes of Latin America. It consists of two
complementary parts which form two lines: the "ira", that which carries out
the melody, has 6 tubes. The "arka", that which follows, has 7 tubes. This
flute is designed to be played by two musicians. Each musician uses part of
the range. In this manner, it is possible to play very quickly and very loud, without silence between the notes to take again its breathing. In
solo, the two lines make it possible to reduce the width of the flute, but
that requires a gymnastics to pass from the one to the other. I manufacture
my sikus starting from flutes for imported tourists of Latin America, badly
made and out of tune
, but whose bamboo
is of good quality. I dismount all, I tune, I polished, and I remake new
flutes perfectly finished and usable in concert.
They are giant sikus ! Like my sankas, mine are wide: sankas + toyos. The largest tube makes 1,20 m length. But some toyos can go up to
2 meters: it is necessary to play about it on a stool, or knees leaned
behind, the toyos almost flat by ground. It is the instrument which requires
the most control of the breath.
These are sankas that I manufacture with simple PVC for drains.
In addition to the principal line, those have a line of not stopped tubes:
resonators. They sound by sympathy and give to the flute its rich harmonics.
Sikus and bombo
All the flutes of the family of the sikus can be played with
the bombo, large drum of the Andes.
This flute comes from Ecuador. The position of its tubes makes
it possible to the musician to be accompanied with the
third into blowing in two tubes. This instrument allows also pretty
successions of notes which make think of the song of a bird. With the origin,
the rondador consisted of a reed to the thick walls as our Cane of Provence.
Currently, they are made of bamboo to the fine walls, like the sikus.
This flute is used everywhere in the Andes. It approaches
our European panpipes. It consists of tubes of bamboo to the very fine walls,
which gives a very soft sound.
Straight flutes of the Andes
The kena is
made of a piece of thick bamboo. It is a flute with notch, without nozzle to
channel the air. From where its unpleasing play: one does not leave a sound
there the first blow ! But controlled once, it is a powerful and sharp flute,
covering two octaves and half in practice.
These are two small
perfectly granted recorders which are played together. Their sound is magic
and often causes a silence of astonishment and emotion among listeners. My
dulciñas was also manufactured by Jeff Barbe.