Ever heard of Fluteboxing?

In my research for our forthcoming course Rap, Beatboxing, Spoken Word, I discovered an art form of which I was previously unaware, Fluteboxing. For those of you who don’t know, beatboxing “is a form of vocal percussion where the artist imitates electronic drum sounds – creating a beat box.” Often the beatboxer will imitate the drum patterns of modern hip hip, often at the backinig instrument for a rapper, but could also imitate other forms of electronic percussion and “forms of what we recognise as beatboxing or vocal percussive music span millennia and cultures across the globe.”

Fluteboxing “is an extended technique of the flute, or an extension in sound resonators for beatboxing. Involving the production of distinct flute tones combined with vocal percussion”, enabling “the use of the flute as a rhythmic instrument”.

I am interested in the concept of fluteboxing in it combining of classical and contemporary music art forms, with flute rapidly becoming an instrument that is undervalued and under-appreciated by the young generation and therefore finds itself going out of fashion and not being taught in schools.

As an interesting aside it seems that fluteboxing was predicted by the German composer and sound artist Christina Kubisch in with this image from 1973 of the artist playing the flute while wearing boxing gloves. The work formed part of the series Emergency Solos, which saw the artist attempting to play the flute while wearing boxing cloves, thimbles and a gas mask.

Here are two of my favourite fluteboxing performances on youtube.

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