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Tooting their own flute: Flutronix brings a modern sound to the classical instrument

for The Brooklyn Paper
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How do you take one of the world’s oldest instruments and make it cool?

That is the challenge two flutists from Crown Heights have taken on with Flutronix — a band that mixes the school-band staple with contemporary genres such as R&B and electronic music.

“We have this mutual desire to create a new and unique voice for the flute,” said Nathalie Joachim, who created the group with fellow flute player Allison Loggins-Hall. “We want to marry influences from our classical training with hip-hop, jazz, and pop music to bring together a new sound.”

Both women have been playing the flute since they were kids and were reared on a diet of classical standards, but Flutronix is a far cry from Bach’s “Badinerie.”

The group’s latest album “2.0” has the sleek pulse of modern R&B, thanks to the pair’s soulful vocals, and beats provided by hip-hop drummer Joe Blaxx, while the melodic drive comes courtesy of their tart woodwind work.

The duo’s advocacy of the flute goes beyond Flutronix — Joachim and Loggins-Hall also host educational workshops and outreach programs, teaching students about the history of the instrument and showing support for their fellow players.

“We want all students, from kindergarten to the university to know that the flute is possible as a career,” said Loggins-Hall. “If you’re willing to open your point of view to what kind of music you are playing, the possibilities are endless.”

That is certainly the case for Flutronix. Already this year, the group has participated in a residency at the University of Michigan and a headlining date at the Virginia Arts Festival. And the pair will soon be heading over to Japan for their first international concert appearances.

When they return, Joachim and Loggins-Hall will be continuing their ongoing series of concerts “Flutronix and Friends,” which brings musicians of all stripes and styles together for one-off gigs around the borough.

“We live in the epicenter of tons of really wonderful music making that’s happening,” Joachim said. “To be able to tie together all the exciting culture that is around us here in Brooklyn, that means a lot to us as Flutronix.”

Flutronix plays Pete’s Candy Store [709 Lorimer St. between Richardson and Frost streets in Williamsburg, (718) 302–3770, www.petescandystore.com]. April 10 at 9 pm. $10.

Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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