|Origin of the DAJOERI Panflute and School|
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Until the end of 1968, the panflute was virtually unknown in Western Europe. At that time, people certainly heard South-American melodies like "El condor pasa" which were played first with the Kena and later with the Siku flute. These were instruments which, to an untrained ear, sounded somewhat like a panflute.
Panflute enthusiasts may be interested in finding out how this instrument became known in Western Europe in the late 1960's and who contributed to its dissemination.
Who is Marcel Cellier and Gheorghe Zamfir?
It was already back in 1960 that Marcel Cellier, a Swiss music-lover, started to broadcast radio shows every Saturday on the westschweizer Radio which he called "From the Black Sea to the Baltic". Of the 1000 or so shows which aired during the next 25 years, hundreds were dedicated to panflute artists such as Damian Luca, Constantin Oprea, Simion Stanciu "Syrinx", Gheorghe Zamfir, Nicolae Pirvu and Radu Simion.
Marcel Cellier took his tape recorder with him as he traveled throughout the Balkans in search of genuine folklore. While visiting Professor Tiberiu Alexandru at the Institute for Folklore in Bucarest, he listened to recordings by young musicians and came across studio recordings featuring a young music-student named Gheorghe Zamfir and his panflute teacher Fanica Luca. Enthused by what he heard, Cellier expressed an interest in meeting this young artist. Professor. T. Alexandru arranged for a meeting which Fanica Luca also attended. Subsequently, Cellier was able to make a few recordings, which he included in his radio shows.
In 1969, he invited Gheorghe Zamfir to visit him in Switzerland and surprised him one evening by taking him to the church in Cully where he sat down at the organ and started to play Rumanian Doinas. Zamfir was quite nonplussed at first, since he had never before heard "his" Rumanian melodies played with organ. Up until then, he had only heard them in their original setting with panflute, cimbalom, accordion, fiddles and bass. He got so excited that he grabbed his soprano panflute and, as though in a trance, started to improvise as he accompanied Cellier on his organ.