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Welcome to Seashell Music!

September 2, 2011

Hello, my name is Michael Ryan

I have been developing and demonstrating my  flutes and seashell whistles to school children, professional musicians, and adults who enjoy making their own discoveries in sound. Collectors of rare and  unusual instruments have also purchased my products.

I have discovered that I can make sounds as basic as a loud,  high-pitched whistle (see my Sea Siren Whistle), and as complex as Celtic music (see my hand-drilled Whorled Flute), in a style that sounds similar to a penny  whistle.

My Screw Shell Flute, currently my most popular shell, (made from  a Turritella, or screw shell) contains a full octave and a half of notes.  Finding a western octave inside of a seashell – by determining where to drill  finger holes into it and how to play it – is a completely new discovery about  seashells. It took me three years to determine where to place the finger holes,  how big to make the holes, and how to shape the aperture of the shell…

A good place to start is my “Seashell Instruments and Sounds”  page, which offers a list of my products, and a primer on sounds they can make. Once you learn the technique, you can make many sounds with one instrument.  (Each shell comes with its own instructions.)

Before I started making sounds and music with seashells, I learned  how to make a whistle with an acorn cap.

Bird and animal calls with seashells? I am very interested in  finding sounds that call and imitate birds and animals – using my seashell instruments. My Screw Shell Flute, for example, can be used to call doves. You  can also manipulate my Sea Siren Whistle so that it imitates ospreys. I’m not  sure that it “calls” Ospreys, but they certainly do listen.

I invite both small hands and big hands to give it a try.

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