Death of Australian Flute maker Mike Grinter

Re: Death of Australian Flute maker Mike Grinter

That is a shock. What a great flute maker and a great bloke.
My condolences to his family and friends .
RIP

Re: Death of Australian Flute maker Mike Grinter

Thanks Jon.

We’ve had a few "notable folkies" pass on in Australia just recently, to the extent that I’ve just penned a suggestion to the Australian Folk Alliance that there should be an easily accessible place (a website?) where we can collect stories and commemorate people in and around the folk scene who have influenced or even (in some cases) totally redirected our lives. I’m hoping they might agree to host such a space. A few thoughts spin out from there….

Is anyone aware of such a commemorative space anywhere else in the world? A precedent might be useful.

Has anyone any memories or stories about Mike Grinter that they would like to contribute to such a place?

I’ve made a very small start to such a commemoration with a page (on my website) remembering that scalliwag flute dealer and player, Paul Davies. http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/Davies.htm

But that’s just one person in a lifetime of people. We folkies are all about stories. Surely we can look after our own?

Re: Death of Australian Flute maker Mike Grinter

That’s unbelievably sad news Terry. Mike was such a wonderfully talented and decent bloke.
So many good memories of times spent in his company …

All the best, Ian

Re: Death of Australian Flute maker Mike Grinter

Sad and shocking news… a nasty comparison with Dave Williams’ death, too. Mike was a very fine instrument maker. I have one of his low whistles which I’ll treasure all the more for knowing that I won’t now be able to get any new ones. Although I never met him, I emailed him a fair few times and he always seemed like a good bloke. A sad loss to traditional music!

m.d.

Re: Death of Australian Flute maker Mike Grinter

Ian (dogbox), if any memories float to the top, scribble them down and add them here.

Interestingly, I didn’t know Mike well, even though he was here in Australia. He lived about 800K away, down in Victoria, about 9 hours drive, further than London to Edinburgh, or New York to Quebec, or Paris to Munich. I’d bump into him occasionally at festivals, but he seemed less sociable than I (hey, not that I’m that much of a party animal!). So, consequently, I don’t have much to contribute to his memory. So any closer experiences gladly received.

Re: Death of Australian Flute maker Mike Grinter

My condolences to Mike’s family and friends. A tragic loss indeed. I’ve heard musicians playing Mike’s flutes and they sounded good. As m.d. mentioned I also remembered my own dismay and disbelief when a friend, uilleann pipe and flute maker, Dave Williams, was killed in a car accident 14 years ago. R.I.P

Re: Death of Australian Flute maker Mike Grinter

Oh, no…how terrible. He built amazing flutes. What a loss.

Re: Death of Australian Flute maker Mike Grinter

A pall of sadness has come over the Australian folk scene this week. It is of great comfort that there are still people like Grinter whose business model was to provide people with an item of the highest quality. You can’t beat class. Grinter and his flutes did this country proud.

Re: Death of Australian Flute maker Mike Grinter

We seem to be having a rough trot in the Australian folk scene lately, losing singer and concertina player Danny Spooner and singer and 5 string banjo player Col McJannett last year, flute and concertina player Richard Conrick, hammer dulcimer maker Gillian Alcock, dancer Daryl Powell and now Mike Grinter this year. And probably others I haven’t heard of, tucked away as I am in my little sea-side village. When we sum up the impact these people have had on the folk scene here and in some cases overseas, we realise our collective loss.

Re: Death of Australian Flute maker Mike Grinter

The ‘bush telegraph’ has just reached those of us in Australian country towns who are only now hearing this sad news. What a devastating loss of a fine man.
I first talked to Mike back in 1995 when I ordered my first flute from him. Just before Christmas the same year I visited him at his workshop in Chewton to receive my new pride and joy. I see my handwritten receipt is dated 8-8-95 and is receipt no. 44. The beautifully sculpted Cocobolo was almost purple when I initially held it, but has since mellowed to an almost ebony-like colour.
Mike explained how the flutes were made and was happy to give me a guided tour of his workshop, drying room and processes involved. I found him a very open and affable man. Three years later (while playing in a pub in Maleny, Queensland) I was approached by a lady flute player who enquired on the make of my flute and subsequently then offered to sell me her Grinter 8 key flute (in Grenadilla). A sale was done.
On phoning Mike he quite happily told me the history of the instrument and did a repad on it for me in the ensuing years.
I have Michael Grinter to thank for enabling me to venture into other genres as well as ITM (Baroque, Gypsy swing) via the flute which I happened upon and bought by chance.
What a tragedy that Mike should leave us at an untimely early age in a motor vehicle accident as did his maker mentor Fred Morgan did before him.
May many more of you friends, owners and players submit your memories of this great man.

Re: Death of Australian Flute maker Mike Grinter

Sad greetings to this page

I never got to meet Mike but I know many who did, and many who played his magnificent instruments.
A dear friend and flute player, Sharyn, was and is absolutely devastated by this news. She has the first flute he made; just after she qualified many years ago she saved and bought his first flute and it still sings beautifully.
A sad moment for us all, and all too common here in Australia now that cyclists are ‘expendable’.
Kind thoughts to his family and many friends.

All the best
Brian x

Re: Death of Australian Flute maker Mike Grinter

Grinter was much more significant than as an Australian folkie. His recorders and flutes are used by professionals internationally in classical as well as folk music.

Re: Death of Australian Flute maker Mike Grinter

‘Is anyone aware of a commemorative space anywhere else in the world? A precedent might be useful.’
‘We folkies are all about stories. Surely we can look after our own?’
‘There should be an easily accessible place (a website?) where we can collect stories and commemorate people in and around the folk scene who have influenced or even (in some cases) totally redirected our lives.’

Liam O’Flynn
https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/music/liam-o-flynn-left-a-perfect-legacy-for-generations-of-musicians-1.3426993

Tommy Peoples
http://journalofmusic.com/focus/remembering-tommy-peoples

Alec Finn
https://frankiegavin-dedannan.irish/index.php/news/
https://www.rte.ie/entertainment/2018/1117/1011552-alec-finn-on-the-high-flying-days-with-de-danann/

Quoting from the booklet accompanying Páraic MacDonnchadha’s CD "Thar Am":
‘Ní imithe siad uainn ach romhainn’, meaning ‘They are not gone from us, but gone before us’.

Re: Death of Australian Flute maker Mike Grinter

Mike Showed up at Ceol Aneas ( Nelson New Zealand ) one year with literally a bag of flutes.
He was on his way to Ireland I think to deliver some.

He was such a generous soul, really enjoyed meeting him.
He was a genius instrument maker. The flutes were top class.
Cream, a joy to play. ( almost played themselves )

My thoughts go out to his family.
Pat

Re: Death of Australian Flute maker Mike Grinter

It’s with a heavy heart I make this post……
Michael Grinter was tragically killed last night
in a road accident whilst cycling. A dear old mate,
and a man of passionate musical creativity. My
heartfelt condolences to Nuve Vee, Helen,
Pip n’ families. Rest in peace Mike your
flutes n’ whistles never will mate

Re: Death of Australian Flute maker Mike Grinter

So sorry to hear of this tragic loss. I spent time with Mike in Tubbercurry around 15 years ago and was struck by how unassuming he was. Our tutor, Michael Hurley, began the first session by extolling the virtues of the world’s great flute makers (including, of course, Michael Grinter) before asking us to introduce ourselves and our instruments. Last in the circle was this quiet man who gently said, "this is a Michael Grinter flute and - er- I’m Michael Grinter." Michael Hurley was as surprised as the rest of us. I must still have a photo somewhere of Seamus Tansey playing that flute of Mike’s, which he borrowed for a few minutes. RIP

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