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Messages - Karl Ahrens

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Introductions / Re: Greetings from New Mexico, USA
« on: January 23, 2020, 11:22:45 pm »
I think I'll start my baby step with an old standby that I've played on the keyboard, ocarina and pennywhistle... in other words, I'm pretty familiar with it. Lol
And the name of the song is...  drum roll, drum roll, drum roll   ??  :)

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:

Introductions / Re: Greetings from New Mexico, USA
« on: January 23, 2020, 12:21:10 am »
Hi, Carol, it's great to have you here.  Since we spoke earlier in a riotously funny email exchange ;D, and since you asked for accountability >:(, here's a baby step.  Choose and write down the name of just one song that you can imagine yourself playing in an informal outdoor, Enchant the Forest video.  (Of course, you could choose more than one song, thinking about other videos in the future.)  Starting with that one small commitment, then you can use The Two-Minute Method to learn the chosen song in frequent short sessions.  (Whenever you have two minutes, you can play it once or twice.)

Now, I don't know if the idea of making an informal video to share with this accepting group of people is scary or not.    If it is, by committing to a video and then visualizing yourself doing it over time, you'll find that the fear begins to fade. Also, the more you practice the song, the more confident you'll feel.

I doubt I'm saying anything you don't know, but at least I mean well.  Again, welcome to the forum! 

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:

Coda News / Re: Join me! And together we can… Enchant the Forest
« on: January 22, 2020, 02:47:24 pm »
Oops, I did an unplanned Enchant the Forest video today.  I was running around the woods at lunch time and I played out on the ice.  It sounded nice, so I ran back and got my tripod.

Coda News / Re: Join me! And together we can… Enchant the Forest
« on: January 21, 2020, 09:04:42 pm »
Happy birthday, Windjammer! 

By the way, I just found a photo that my daughter-in-law took this past Summer of me playing along our trail out in the Enchanted Forest.  That warm sunshine is a far off memory.

And here's where we'll be storing that HUGE :) library of Enchant the Forest videos that we're all going to contribute to over the next year: 

My next 2 ETF videos will probably be uncharacteristic.  I'll try to make a video on a city street in Hartford this Thursday night. Some friends who live in the city invited Susan and me to dinner. They are good sports... Thus, the video. ;D

And then, I hope to make one in the everglades next week when our family leaves the snow behind and heads to Orlando for a week.  I'm thinking of playing El Condor Pasa amidst that lush green.  I'll practice in the hotel with my Silencers.

Anybody planned a video yet?  This doesn't mean that you will do it tomorrow or next week. It only means that you have chosen a song and chosen a place so that now you can warm up to the idea and prepare.

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 / Re: Join me! And together we can… Enchant the Forest
« on: January 19, 2020, 03:02:27 pm »
I'm encouraged that a few of you are in so far!  To those of you new to this thread, I'd really appreciate it if you'd read the original post.   I know the post is long, but I really believe this Enchant the Forest idea could help many of us to GROW MUSICALLY (and enjoy sharing together). I play a lot of songs, but as soon as I think about recording a song outside, I get more serious about practicing it and making it my own so that I'll feel relaxed when I make the video.  Each time I do that, I have one more song in my confident, play-anytime repertoire.

Well, we had a morning of snow removal, but I just got away for a bit to do an Enchant the Forest video.  As you can see, low tech, nothing fancy.  The main thing is that I got out there and did it.  And it was fun.  Windy, but absolutely beautiful out in the woods today.   Now all I have to do is figure out a home for our (yours and mine) Enchant the Forest videos -- a place where they can live on the web.

For now, here's a link to Danny Boy:

Hi Mr Karl!  You and Ms Susan are living precisely in what I am looking for in my future retirement home.  My zillow searches are always for homes near national state forests....but my Enchanted Forest must be swimming in frozen creeks for me!  As for the challenge... I'm all in! 8)
(Optional: The 10-Dollar Challenge: Send Karl 10 bucks every time you make a video..... OMG LOL  ;D ;D ;D)
Codaina, I'm thrilled that you're in, but I was dead serious about the 10 bucks. That's my retirement plan. ;) Susan and I have family in rural Georgia.  We'll keep an eye out for your retirement home when we're there, but I think ya'll are a bit young to be talking about retirement.

Coda News / Re: Join me! And together we can… Enchant the Forest
« on: January 17, 2020, 09:58:27 pm »
Sounds good, Windjammer!  I've got a busy day tomorrow, but I'm going to try to make a video playing Danny Boy.  Snow is in the forecast...   Anyone else out there want to join us?

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 / Re: Giveaway and FB!
« on: December 30, 2019, 03:56:04 pm »
With Amy's kind help, we're finally hoping to get going on Facebook and Instagram.  If you're able to participate on such late notice, we'd be very grateful.  Photos and/or videos from you guys would be encouraging.

Note: while participation in the above Giveaway is certainly not mandatory, it is strongly encouraged.  (Remember: we know where you live and have enforcers associates in your area who are authorized to provide whatever degree of "encouragement" they deem necessary.)  Oh, and Happy New Year! :)

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