CUTTACK : It professional Satyabrat Sahoo of Nandol village under Salepur block is today an established flute-maker in the State. But this transformation did not happen overnight.
It took the 35-year-old man six years to master the craft while juggling between work and his passion for the musical instrument.
Satyabrat has been working as a customer care service provider in a Bengaluru-based IT company since 2010.
Six years back, he had purchased a bamboo flute to learn playing the instrument during his free time. He wanted to evolve as a seasoned flute player.
“My first flute was a small one and after playing it for a few months, I wanted a bigger flute. I spent Rs 6,000 to buy a new one but my wife did not like the idea of spending so much money on a hobby”, recalled Satyabrat who decided to sell the two flutes on OLX after using them for a few months.
But this did not kill his passion for flutes. He decided to make one using a PVC pipe four years back.
“Although it was not perfect, it gave me a lot of satisfaction as I made it entirely on my own. I saw videos of making and tuning a flute and worked on it accordingly. After many trials, I succeeded in making perfect flutes from PVC pipes and sold them for Rs 1,700 each on OLX”, he said.
The sale proceeds encouraged him to try making flutes for professional flutists by procuring the raw material from Assam and Indonesia, during his free hours.
“Though the bamboo from Indonesia is best for making flutes, I preferred to buy most of the raw material from Assam due to low procurement and transportation cost”, he said. It takes at least a year-and-half to season the bamboo pieces for longer durability.
Satyabrat is now making 25 different sizes of bamboo flutes starting from 9 inch to 37 inch which are sold at the price ranging from Rs 1,100 to Rs 5,500.
He sells the flutes under the brand name of Swara Flutes. His buyers include eminent flutists like Hariprasad Chaurasia, Rakesh Chaurasia, Runu Muzumdar, Himanshu Nanda and Prakash Hegde.
He makes two types of bamboo flutes - a western-tuned flute that is based on a keyboard with all notes in 440 Hz frequency and an Indian Classical-tuned flute, the tuning process of which is completely based on ‘tanpura’.
Although he is currently working from home for the IT firm, Satyabrat has decided to quit his job and take up flute making as his primary profession.
His wife Debaki helps him in threading and polishing the flutes and prepares the cotton bags that are used to pack the flutes.