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Topics - Karl Ahrens

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The difference one day can make.  One day in a t-shirt; the next in the snow.   

I first recorded this song, Captain O’Kane, on a whim.  After a trail run, I was playing Coda as dusk eased into dark.  The Spring peepers (little frogs) sounded so nice that I had to join in, so I knelt in front of a tree, propped my phone against it, and hit record.  The next day, when a refreshing snow took us by surprise, I decided to record it again to show the difference a single day can make.

Today's problems may look a lot different tomorrow!

The tune is attributed to Irish composer Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738).

Enchant the Forest Videos (ONLY!) / The Star-Spangled Banner
« on: March 24, 2020, 06:49:55 pm »
I was going to record something else, but Covid-19 brought to mind a song from our history about hope, grit, and strength in the face of adversity: our national anthem.  May it remind us to stay strong and to support one another, now more than ever! 

Feeling stuck at home?  Well,  experts says that it's great to get out in nature.  (Just remember the 6-foot social distancing rule. :D)
I know that not all of you have ready access to the outdoors.  I'm grateful to be able to get out into the woods every day to hike, run, and play Coda.  There is nothing quite like losing yourself in a song out amidst the beauty of creation.

Enchant the Forest Videos (ONLY!) / El cóndor pasa
« on: February 05, 2020, 06:40:37 pm »
On vacation in Orlando with the whole family, my wife Susan and I sneaked out for a few minutes on our last day there to make this video. At first, I wasn't going to post it because of nearby highway noise and especially because I rushed this beautiful Peruvian song. (But, hey, we were just off the sidewalk on a busy road, so I was trying to fit my song in before the next guy without a muffler drove by. :) )  In the end, I posted it anyway because these Enchant the Forest videos don't have to be perfect! The important thing is for us to get out there and do it -- and have fun & grow in the process. 

On the bright side, Susan said people walking by gave us warm smiles, and one couple even stopped to give us a nice round of applause.

Besides the video, here's some travel experiences I had with Coda. 

I really enjoyed practicing this song at night in our hotel room using my Coda Silencers. What a beautiful thing! Laying flat on my back after a long day of walking at Disney, playing my heart out -- quietly

Also, the night before I made the video, I went out and sat behind the wheel of the rental minivan to practice. I used earplugs because of the small enclosed area with hard surfaces and had a engaging practice session!  It reminded me of what a great practice studio your car can be in a pinch.   

Finally, I did a lot of silent fingering practice on the plane en route to Orlando.  I took out a book of tunes and hummed the tunes in my head while I happily fingered all the notes without lifting Coda to my mouth or blowing.  This can be surprisingly productive practice.  Anyway, I was seated in the aisle, and a guy one row back was intrigued by what I was doing, so we had a fascinating ;) talk about Coda and our experiences with music.

Some friends invited us over to dinner tonight at their home in the North End of Hartford. (Thank you!) Playing a song out in the middle of the street seemed like the obvious thing to do. 

Learn more about these Enchant the Forest videos here:

Enchant the Forest Videos (ONLY!) / Frozen Beaver Pond
« on: January 22, 2020, 04:51:48 pm »
I hadn't planned to do this video.  I was running around the woods at lunch time, went out on the ice, and played.  I liked the sound, so I ran back home and grabbed my tripod.

Again, there is something about recording out in nature that feels very forgiving. I encourage some of you to Enchant the Forest: choose a song, practice it everyday for a while, and then try recording it outside.

Learn more about these Enchant the Forest videos here:

Enchant the Forest Videos (ONLY!) / Ubizmo plays Carolan's Welcome
« on: January 21, 2020, 10:08:04 am »

Learn more about these Enchant the Forest videos here:

Enchant the Forest Videos (ONLY!) / Danny Boy
« on: January 21, 2020, 10:04:26 am »

Learn more about these Enchant the Forest videos here:

Enchant the Forest Videos (ONLY!) / Happy New Year -- Wayfaring Stranger
« on: January 21, 2020, 10:01:35 am »

Learn more about these Enchant the Forest videos here:

General Discussion / How to be notified about our latest content
« on: January 20, 2020, 04:57:14 pm »
Hi, we'll be uploading videos regularly to Youtube, for example, Enchant the Forest videos.

If you'd like to receive notifications when we post a new video, go to the Coda EDC Flutes channel, click the red subscribe button, and then click the bell next to it.

We're also finally beginning to upload content on Facebook. If you'd like FB notifications, like us at

Coda News / Join me! And together we can… Enchant the Forest
« on: January 16, 2020, 03:39:38 pm »
Join me!  And together we can… Enchant the Forest

Do you want to grow as a musician -- and maybe even inspire others to do the same?

If so, I have a mission for you.  And it is this: Enchant the Forest.  I’ll explain what I mean by that in a moment, but first…

Where does the name Enchant the Forest come from?

I’ve always loved the outdoors, so when it was time for us to move several years ago, one of my criteria was that we find a house bordering on woodland trails like our previous house. Well, our chosen new/old house had some beautiful woods out back but no real trails. So, I got right to work clearing and blazing my own, incorporating a few old motorcycle tracks and deer runs when they were headed my way. The result is a nice forest circuit right out our back door for trail running, walking, thinking, praying… 

Now, there’s a cathedral-like pine grove out there, towering above a needle-carpeted forest floor.  My wife Susan started calling that peaceful place The Enchanted Forest, and it’s where I often go to play Coda. Since others have made me aware of the haunting beauty of a flute sound wafting and soaring on a forest breeze, I began to view playing Coda out there as Enchanting the Forest.  Those thoughts eventually crystallized into a decision: whenever I am out in nature, I always enchant the forest by playing Coda for a bit. That simple goal, now a habit, has helped me to grow as a musician and do more of what I love.  So I thought of you.

How can we Enchant the Forest together?

Well, I suppose you could drop by, but that might be sort of inconvenient, so let’s do it by video instead. How?
  • 1st, learn a song well on Coda.
  • 2nd, go to a beautiful, outdoor setting (or some other interesting place) and make a simple cell phone video of you playing the song.
  • 3rd, share your video with the rest of us. (If you don’t know how, we’ll show you.)
The goal is to encourage and inspire us all to start recording our own relaxed ETF (Enchant the Forest) videos, which we’ll share with one another here on the forum (or on Youtube & Facebook).

Here are a few simple decisions that will help you follow through:

  • The 10-Song Challenge: Make a written list of at least 10 beautiful songs that you will learn on Coda in the coming months.  Your goal is to learn to play those songs confidently by heart so that you won’t feel shy about making a short video or being overheard playing in public. Bit by bit, you’ll be adding songs to your confident, play-anytime repertoire.
  • The 10-Location Challenge: Make a written list of at least 10 locations outside of your home where you can make a simple ETF video. You know, this is a great opportunity for us to finally plan adventures to some of those special nearby places that we never seem to get to.
  • Optional - The Enchant the Forest Challenge: Like me, aim to Enchant the Forest by playing Coda a bit whenever you are out and about in nature.
  • Optional - The 10-Dollar Challenge: Send Karl 10 bucks every time you make a video.
  • Coming Soon - The Song of the Month Challenge: We’ll choose a song for each month that we can all learn together.  At the end of the month, we’ll share our videos.

What is this like?

Making short ETF videos is along the lines of activities like geocaching, trail running, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and canoeing. It provides a challenging mission and an opportunity to get out and enjoy nature. So use it to plan or add a spark to outdoor adventures. Make it a fun part of family trips, etc.  (Seriously, if you practice ahead of time, it only takes a couple of minutes to make a relaxed ETF video.)

Why make ETF videos? How will it help us grow as musicians?

  • When you have a specific goal --or audience-- in mind, you tend to practice more.
  • It uses the power of IF/THEN PLANNING.
  • It will help you develop a repertoire of songs you know by heart, which makes playing anytime, anywhere a blast! You feel like a real musician when you’re ready to play anytime, for anyone, at the drop of a hat. (If you’re a relative beginner, we can suggest lots of lovely songs that are beginner friendly.)
  • You’ll be inspired by the efforts of others and encouraged by their feedback. And they’ll be encouraged by you.
  • Finally, making relaxed outdoor videos is tons less pressure than trying to make “studio-quality” recordings. Nonetheless, it starts the snowball rolling down the hill.  Once you start sharing your music in little ways, it’s more likely that you’ll go on to find other ways to serve with your music.

Does it have to be the forest?

No, Enchant the Forest is a metaphor for playing Coda when you venture out into the world. Depending on where life takes you, it could be on a city sidewalk, in a park, a desert canyon, by the ocean, on a lonely ridgetop... The idea is to take music beyond the four walls of your practice room, so it definitely involves getting out of the house. Nothing super risky.  No laying on railroad tracks... or dangling over abysses (unless safely strapped in). ;)

What do you need to make Enchant the Forest videos?  (Hint: Not much!)

  • Coda (I mean, let’s not take him for granted!)
  • A smartphone with camera
  • A friend to hold the camera, or perhaps....
    • An inexpensive, lightweight tripod (about $15)
    • A tripod phone holder  (about $7)
    • Perhaps a backpack to carry your lightweight tripod
    • Or you can prop your phone against the closest tree

One Final Tip:
If you are too close to your phone mic, you’ll likely cause fuzziness, distortion, or clipping. Feel free to experiment, but I get a nice sound outdoors playing about 8 or 10 feet (2.5 to 3 meters) from the camera. Zoom in a little if you need to.

So, anyone else want to go out and Enchant the Forest?
  If so, maybe you’ll share song list ideas, your location list, etc.  I look forward to seeing your videos!  Stay tuned for mine.


P.S.   HERE’S a link to some Enchant the Forest videos so far on Youtube.
In addition, all of our ETF videos will live HERE within the Coda EDC Flute forum.
Oh, and here's me playing Coda this past Summer out on our trail in the Enchanted Forest:

General Discussion / Happy New Year from Karl (swim)
« on: January 01, 2020, 01:56:02 pm »
Next year, let's ALL do this together! ;)  By the way, I'm grateful for your kind support over this last year.

Coda News / New pages? Seriously?
« on: June 06, 2019, 02:45:25 pm »
Hi, things have been VERY busy lately. Nothing new. I probably start most of my posts complaining about how busy I am. (I'm not sure because I'm too busy to read my own posts!)  If you've never owned a small business, it might be hard to imagine the endless tasks and challenges that you face, especially when you create and manufacture your own products. (Many small businesses just resell other people's stuff!) The days are just not long enough.  On the bright side, I just hired a couple of new part-time employees, so things should get easier over time.

By the way, I know that some of you wish that I could re-introduce Mountain Ocarinas, etc.  Believe me that if I could snap my fingers and do that, I would have done so long ago! For now, my plate is a bit full, and I ask for your patience. One thing at a time. I can't make predictions. Really!

However, I did want to tell you about a couple new pages on our website that I'm excited about.

1st, after quite a prototyping phase, and then another phase of working out how we were going to produce them, we have the new Coda Silencers. The Silencers allow you to practice very quietly, practically whenever you want to: .

Here's a little anecdote that demonstrates why I find the Coda Silencers so useful and so much fun. My wife, Susan, and I recently celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary in beautiful Northern Maine.  At one point, there was a crisis on the home front, so Susan had to speak on the phone for a quite a while. Meanwhile, I was in the same room, practicing some new songs on Coda with the Silencers installed. It didn't bother Susan in the least. In fact, I was even able to listen in on the conversation and offer my invaluable sage advice from time to time.  Try that without Coda Silencers!

But wait!  There's more. ;)  We also just posted the new Seriously? page: .   Around here, we like to laugh a lot, so I can't help but think up possible Coda "marketing" images from time to time, some of which are on the wacky side. Then I collaborate with my friend and colleague Roderick or a graphic artist to make them look more professional.  Frankly, most of the stuff doesn't really seem suited for a "dignified" website like ours, but some of it may produce a chuckle or two.  If you like something, let us know.  If not, please send all constructive criticism to www.404.error .  (Just kidding!)


To view or download a complete fingering chart
or a mobile-friendly version (like below), go here:

General Discussion / Finding Karlo
« on: January 14, 2019, 10:32:16 pm »
Since the forum is so new and I've left some wonderful posts unanswered, I thought I should mention that I am on vacatiion with my family from January 11th through the 18th.  When we planned this trip a year ago, I had no idea that we'd have just launched Coda in December. I mean, it was obvious that we'd launch by June 2018 at the very latest. Ah, the surprises of life!

You'll never guess where we are. Hint 1: it is warm, tropical, and overrun with large rodents. Hint 2: the rodents wear white gloves and are uncharacteristically friendly.

The young man in the middle of the above family selfies is my son David. He's 25, but --because of his autism-- our buddy David relates to life more like a big, loving toddler. It's wonderful to see his smiles and joy in this place where the songs and characters are like old friends, straight out of some of his favorite children's videos.

But I shouldn't go on any more about Florida and the hardships of applying sunscreen when some of you, like CODAina, are busy shoveling snow. We'll be joining you soon enough.

By the way, in our absence, some dear friends are staying in our house and are shipping orders.

Finally, I made a little video today related to a makeshift Coda Silencer.  If anyone's interested in that, maybe we'll start a separate thread. All the best from sunny Florida!

Coda News / T-Shirts, Mugs?
« on: January 09, 2019, 09:26:16 pm »
Medicineman, Codaina/Crowcopelli, and others have suggested that they would like T-Shirts and Mugs.  Here are some ideas.

Let us know what you think. We could do this if there was interest. Thoughts? Suggestions?

They could actually be good conversation starters, and you might find others around you who also enjoy making music. (Sorry if you've seen these same pictures elsewhere on the forum. I posted these first on one of MedicineMan's posts but then thought that this news section might be a better spot.)

We're also working with Harley Davidson to produce a special Coda edition of the 2019 Sportster, but pictures aren't available yet. ;)

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