When the hands move holding a smoothing plane or a carving chisel, shaping and transforming one form into another, there is no thought, there is only presence. The body, the vessel, is a tool that is holding another tool to uncover or mold together what has already always been there.
I am an artist and my name is Artem Repin.
This statement and the story behind Artem Repin in itself is just a tool for communication. For behind it there is no doer, only that which is timeless and ever present – Consciousness.
Through the work that Artem Repin does, the receiver of it is welcomed to explore the inner, to Know Thy Self.
A wooden flute has been chosen to direct the one playing it inward, to possibly watch that there is no one playing it, but the vibration is flowing out of vast space, and is captured in a sound manifesting temporarily into an audible space and vanishing into the same vastness from which it came from. Just like a drop of water in the ocean being thrown up into the air by a wave becoming individual for a moment, yet returning to its original source and becoming whole once again.
A flute essentially is a chamber of empty space with holes that hold more empty space and a splitting edge that cuts air stream directed at it. Before there is a flute player there is silence and space. The sound edge of the flute splits the silence when the player guides his or her breath into the flute, the fingers of the player mold the empty space by opening or closing the playing holes and the energy-in-motion (emotion) directs the feeling, thus the music is created.
But when all the movements stop, it becomes that which always is vast space, the ever expressive silence and the Self.
The Story behind Artem Repin
I remember being about 6 years of age, playing outside in the backyard of our families’ house in Ukraine and needing my grandfather’s assistance for something, but he was nowhere to be found. After asking my mom for whereabouts of my grandpa, she directed me to a place called The Tool Shed, which I have had no reference to in my mind nor knew what it was. I remember coming up to an open door of a wooden building and seeing my grandpa standing in a middle of a smallish space holding something in his hand. As I proceeded to ask him for assistance with some childish quirk, my focus began shifting away from his figure as the intriguing surroundings of the inside of the shop began to reveal itself to the eyes of the boy. The walls of the smallish wooden room where covered with unusual objects with long wooden handles and curved metal heads, with twisty metallic worms and wooden blocks with iron tongues sticking out, with metallic sheets of paper of red and silver colors stacked on the shelves and of long smooth boards of different colors neatly piled up in the corner… and millions of other nameless things. I have proceeded to ask my grandpa with eyes wide open in fascination of the meaning of all these things, to what he replied –“These are the tools with which you can build anything you want, like for example see, this is a broken electric motor anchor which I’m rewinding with new wire, so that I could have a new functioning electric motor…”.
All I got out of this conversation with my grandpa was that this little space called The Tool Shed, would allow me to have anything I want, it would allow me to materialize anything my mind dreams of. And that is how I stepped onto a path of creativity and familiarity with tools.
Years went by with me spending time next to my Grandpa, observing him in his manifestations, copying his techniques and inventing my own. I remember after a while, being good at picking up a tool or a piece of clay or wood and just going with it until the results pleased me. I must admit that keeping indirect connection to the memories of all the past incarnations and their creative experiences helped a lot. Grandpa allowed me to have a lot of freedom around the tools in the shop, without scaring my sponge of the mind into possibility of sacrificing any part of my tiny body to the creative process of manifestations – thus I have never been a victim of suggestive accidents with the tools in the shop.
My families’ house was resting in a wonderful half acre lot with a productive garden which my grandfather had planted himself. We had many fruit trees and berry bushes. All this organic greenery situated on half of an acre, nurtured my body and my soul, as I have developed a deep affinity to Nature and its ability to bring out The Creative in me. I remember picking up a sizable apple tree branch, which my grandpa trimmed off of a tree and seeing infinite possibilities in it. The new incarnation of that particular branch happened to be a reproduction of a 14th Century Arbalet body (crossbow) , an image of which I have found in one of my father’s books. The apple wood I used was green and it cracked, leaving me with my first lesson of working with dry or green wood.
My first experience with the magic of the flute came in my teenage hood after watching a documentary on a Japanese traditional bamboo flute called Shakuhachi . I was mesmerized with how a simple hollow piece of bamboo with a few holes in it is able to produce such expressive notes and transport oneself into the land of Dreams. Inspired, I have attempted to construct a Shakuhachi flute, grabbing onto every word from the documentary as a reference and having only a tiny short piece of bamboo left from a fishing rod. My new “flute” made a noise, but it was far from making a sound. The result did not discourage me at all, but became the seed planted which sprouted much later in life upon my arrival to The United States.
I have always enjoyed listening to Native American Flute music, especially so after moving with my family from Ukraine to North America, the navel of Native Culture. And so time has decided that the flute making seed in me was ready to sprout. As one thing led to another and I happened to encounter a forum on the internet, where craft enthusiasts were sharing the “secrets” of Native American Style flute making. By then, I have had a certain tool collection in smallish 5 by 5 walk-in closet of my apartment, where I proceeded to practice in making my first Native American Style flute. Sometime later I traveled to Utah where a Native American Flute Festival took place and where I participated in a flute making class with Raymond RedFeather. From then on, I have slowly been perfecting the craft of Native American Style flute.
In the past few years I have decided to make Flute making and Woodworking as my main means of creative expression in this manifested reality. As the saying goes: “Before enlightenment carry water and chop wood, after enlightenment carry water and chop wood”. So the “I”, an experiencing entity or Artem Repin, has decided to adapt it to flute making and woodworking.
One of the exciting aspects of musical instrument making that I have recently discovered is ability to tune my flutes at the time of making to a tuning with many names, one of which is Sacred Universal Tuning where A is tuned to 432Hz and not to 440Hz. There is enough information on the internet about the difference in 432Hz and 440Hz tuning and the way music recorded in 432Hz affects our emotional wellbeing and as some claim physical healing.
But my personal understanding, relationship and curiosity with 432Hz can be captured in the following video, produced and owned by Eric Rankin of SonicGeometry.com :
Another area in which I decided to experiment was extending the standard 6 hole Native American style flute scale, by an addition of a thumb (7th) hole or a pinky (8th) hole, which adds a next half or whole step (on a 7 hole flute) going up the scale, depending on the hole placement and another half of a step going down the scale of a flute (on an 8 hole flute). Though 8 hole flutes become challenging to play the lower the key of the flute is, as you can only stretch so far with your pinky. So I have found that a flute in up to the key of F# to F can comfortably be played by average size hands. Then starting with the Key of E and up we need progressively larger hands and longer fingers.
My vision can best be summerized by the well known adage, “man, know thy self”. I believe that the purpose of a human life is to realize the self. And, every action one chooses to perform can lead one to self-realization. As Pierre Teilhard de Chardin once said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” In other words, we are the “largness of it all”, the totality of experience looking at the individuals experiencing it.
A flute is a meditation, whether one makes it, plays it or both. The flute helps one get closer to the source, from where the sound comes, into manifestation. Therefore, savor the sound and meditate playing the flute…
What I offer.
Through my website I offer traditional Single and Drone flutes in domestic and exotic, when possible sustainably harvested woods. Custom single or drone flutes and one of a kind Sculptural Pieces, with intricate inlays of wood and semiprecious stones supported by unique wall hung flute holders made of figured slabs of wood. In standard 6 hole configuration or in 7 or 8 hole configurations. Flutes can be tuned to standard 440hz or to 432Hz tunings. I pay close attention to precise tuning. When custom flute making is involved I work close with the client to create either a one of a kind work of art guided by the client’s trust in my creative flow or where I am guided by the client’s vision.