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4 FOCUS - FEBRUARY 2016 Stephen went home and researched the topic and produced two utes. He was aided and encouraged by his sister Vicki who teaches music and is head of the Arts program at Port Perry High School. Stephen was also encouraged by his wife Nancy who teaches kindergarten in Oshawa. Several months later he met Bouchard again and presented him with one of his utes. Bouchard was impressed with the quality of the workmanship and the outstanding tone of the instrument and encour- aged Stephen to make more. As a result ute making has evolved into an all-consuming pas- sion for Stephen. He even has a cozy purpose-built workshop in the back garden of his Greenbank home. The time required to make a ute is anywhere from five hours to more than twenty depending on the type and size of the instrument and whether it is from a lathe-turned piece of wood or made from a branch or other irregular material such as an elk or deer antler. Flute making gives me time to think. During that time my thoughts are frequently of my parents and my friends he says. His father Nicolaas was well known locally as a builder. He died in 2011. Flutemakingbroughtmusicmore deeply into my life and it has enabled me to meet many new friends. In discussing the creation of a ute Stephen states Each ute has its own fingerprint its sound its tone its pitch and timbre. I work in a variety of woods such as sumac birch pine cedar and some of the more exotic woods such as Korean Lilac and burled walnut. Cedar is a traditional wood that has some aspects of spirituality at- tached to it. Elderberry stalk produces a high- pitched tone and Sunower stalk has a distinctly mellow sound. Hard woods are generally harsh- er in tone and soft woods tend to be more mellow. Every single piece of wood has its own dierent potential and each ute is tuned dierently according to its nature. Each ute is unique. Originally utes had 4 or 5 finger holes whereas todays utes tend to have 6 or more holes giving the instrument a broader range of notes. One aspect of the ute which can- not be overlooked is the therapeutic value of its music. Stephen said qui- etly I would never be so foolish as to claim that the sound of the ute can cure illness however several people who have traumatic health experi- ences have found that the music of the ute has better enabled them to cope with their suering. As his success in ute making be- came obvious he began to look for a name for his ute creations. Stephen is a big tall man and at one of his meetings with Bouchard he called him Makwa which means Bear. An appropriate name dont you think Stephen smiled. In 2013 the Durham District School Board was looking for a name for a new school to be opened in South Oshawa. The name of David Bouchard was put forward. Because of his visits and inspirational talks to the students of Oshawa schools and across North America his emphasis on reading storytelling and writing and his nu- merous best selling books mainly for children and the fact that he had become a Member of the Order of Canada in 2009 David Bouchard Public School became a reality. In the foyer of the school is a totem that was carved by Stephen. He is presently carving another totem to be added to the schools cultural collection. By coincidence Stephens wife Nancy is a kindergarten teacher at the school. Today David Bouchard takes a number of Makwa utes with him to demonstrate and to sell as he travels North America giving talks and workshops. Even though David lives in Victoria B.C. Stephen takes time to communicate each day with him either by phone text or e-mail. As a result of David Bouchards promotions and Stephens own ef- forts particularly through his web- site Makwa utes have a huge and ever-increasing fan base that covers North America and is spreading to Europe Africa and Asia. All of this is a result of a chance meeting of two men from dier- ent cultures and heritages one raised in Scugog and one raised in Saskatchewan and now living in Victoria and the mesmerizing sound of an ancient instrument. By Paul Arculus Focus on Scugog Far left Flute carved from the antler of a young elk. Middle Flute carved from cedar. Far Right Flute carved out of sumac. Opening Page 3 Stephen tests the tone and tuning of a lathe-turned pine ute. The unnished cedar totem pole which he is carving for David Bouchard Public School stands in the background. Magic Flutes continued from page 3