About Casey Burns
[Photo of Casey Burns turning a boxwood flute foot joint at the lathe]

Casey Burns is an artisan wind instrument maker with over twenty years of experience and more than two thousand instruments completed, including flutes, bagpipes, bombardes and other reeded instruments. His work has focused particularly on the simple-system, conical-bore wooden flutes favored in Irish and other Celtic musical traditions. His flutes are played and enjoyed by beginners and accomplished players alike.

Casey is well-known for his pioneering work in simple-system, conical bore flute ergonomics, carefully retaining the tonal qualities of the flute while adapting tone-hole spacing and positioning to be more human-centered. Customers of Casey's Ergonomic and Small-Handed flutes have reported that they play better and faster with his flutes. Some players who have faced insurmountable physical challenges with traditional/historical flute ergonomics (or lack thereof!) have been able to play again on a Casey Burns flute.

Using his knowledge of what makes an ergonomic flute function well, Casey, has been revisiting the original Pratten and Rudall designs. In 2003, he introduced a new series of Rudall- and Pratten-based designs representing the culmination of his years of research and ergonomic flute-making experience. These new instruments are remarkable for their firm and co-operative tone, balance across registers, consistent intonation, and hand comfort. The beginner will be rewarded with a responsive flute that accommodates her or his growing skills. The experienced player will be rewarded with a versatile and sophisticated performance instrument.

A flute player since 1961, Casey prefers to save his flute playing for tuning and voicing work, and instead enjoys playing French and Spanish bagpipes recreationally, learning other instruments and traditions, and composing modern music with which to amuse his friends, mostly.

Casey also pursues avocational paleontology and other natural history interests, and has become something of a regional expert on Pacific Northwest fossil echinoderms - one of which forms the basis for his instrument stamp. His wife Nancy works as a freelance book indexer and shares his love of gardening and the outdoors. Their daughter Lila, who loves music and theater, has begun her training as a flute maker.

Page last modified:
April 07 2010

     © Casey Burns 1981-2007