Interviews

Emily Skala: Artist Interview

Posted by on Jun 1, 2017 in Blog, Featured, Interviews, Issues, June 2017 | 0 comments

Emily Skala: Artist Interview

Emily Skala has been the Principal Flutist of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 1988 and a faculty member of the Peabody Institute since 1989. Recent years have provided substantial opportunity for international travel to Brazil, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, to perform on tour and at music festivals worldwide: Southbank Centre’s “The Rest Is Noise” Festival (UK), Campos do Jordao Winter Festival (Brazil), and Carnegie Hall. An expert in orchestral repertoire, Ms. Skala has performed, adjudicated, taught, and commissioned new works at the National Flute Association’s annual conventions.   Can you give us 5 career highlights?   It is interesting to me to realize that when I look back on my career in a thoughtful retrospection and self-assessment, all the concerts, rehearsals, auditions, recitals, competitions, chamber music, the classes, rather bleed together and form a rolling sea of feelings and sensations that hardly distinguish themselves one from the other. They all seem to pour together and form my way of being. But just as in any ocean a creature will jump out from the deep and amaze the onlookers as they surface or fly, my special experiences stand out and can momentarily be seen more vividly than most. Your question has made me search my memory banks! Here is what I have stirred up:    1     Itzhak Perlman's compliment of my Brahms Symphony #4 solo. He loved the unforced low notes at the end! Something he never gets to hear. Validation from artists on this level is extremely meaningful. Even if it is about only one or two notes.    2     Making the semifinals of the 2014 Berlin Philharmonic Principal Flute search; being the only American flutist to achieve this; and being one of only two women to advance to this level. It was the most fun audition experience I ever had (in fact, I didn't know they could be fun)! I felt like I had truly accomplished something that day. And while I was there, I was able to listen to an afternoon rehearsal of Schubert's "Rosamunde" Overture. The orchestra was supposed to have performed that week's concert under Claudio Abbado's leadership. Sadly, Maestro Abbado had passed away four months earlier. They kept his program in tact, however, and played the Schubert without conductor as an homage to this important musician. It was Abbado's favorite piece. The richness of the sonorities that emerged from the orchestra and dedication to musical collaboration and expression among the musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic was breathtaking. I will never forget this sound. It was something I have never heard before and never expect to hear again, unless I can manage to fit more travel into my life! All the stories we hear about this orchestra are true. So if you can afford to go, you must hear the Berlin Philharmonic in the Berlin Philharmonie!    3     I cannot forget the Aspen Festival Orchestea's performance of Mahler's Symphony #3, with the late and wonderfully musical Maestro Sergiu Comissiona conducting. In this performance I worked side by side with my first great mentor and Principal Flutist of the Aspen Festival Orchestra, Albert Tipton. All this when I was just 16 years old. This week of wondrous music making confirmed my love of orchestral flute playing. I knew I was doing absolutely the right thing....

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Christopher Caliendo: 2T Flute Academy Interview

Posted by on Jun 1, 2017 in Featured, Interviews, Issues, June 2017 | 0 comments

Christopher Caliendo: 2T Flute Academy Interview

What is the 2t Academy?     The 2t Flute Academy (www.2tacademy.com) is an online global event featuring 25 of the most popular flutists sharing their success stories in one-hour documentary interviews. The 2T Flute Academy provides young musicians an opportunity to learn how their favorite flute artists became successful by observing the choices they made immediately after graduating college. The opening ceremonies begin Sunday, June 11, at 11:00 am PST, and the closing summit is June 18, when I will announce all the sponsor prizes and distribute my success formula for flutists based on my research and study of the success traits of these unique artists. Why did you decide to create the 2t Academy?   The 2t Flute Academy was inspired by my belief that flutists could benefit from an affordable online school whose primary focus is on the success stories of many of their favorite flutists. To accomplish this, my team chose video. During our research, we discovered that one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words and about 3,600 web pages. This equals a stronger emotional connection, greater affordability and a higher customer-conversion and retention rate. In addition, companies I revere and emulate, such as The Great Courses, feature the best of the best college courses on video so you can enjoy learning on your own time and in your own desired location via computer or smartphone. Biography also features the life stories of various historical figures and celebrities on video. Both of these formats use video because it communicates information faster, and the process is more entertaining and enjoyable. The 2t Flute Academy continues this standard of learning by focusing on the choices flutists make after graduation day.  Studying these choices helps us understand how these flutists’ artistic vision was shaped. Through video, 2T Flute members will learn quickly the success process of their favorite flutists and how they promoted themselves toward self-discovery. During our closing ceremonies on June 18, REGULAR and VIP members of the 2T Flute Academy will receive a PDF of all the 25 flutists’ distinguishing characteristics. These characteristics will be analyzed, broken down and formatted into a success method so we can all learn together as one community. In addition, the interviews will provide members with a valuable shortcut to discovering ideas and approaches that they may wish to incorporate into their own journey and development. In essence, the 2t Flute Academy provides flutists mentors at a distance. I also explored the 2t Flute Academy as an alternative to the National Flute Association (NFA) for people who can’t afford the flight, hotel, registration and food costs. The NFA will continue to benefit from a physical location where many young flutists can hear and meet their favorite artists. However, the NFA may be limited in its global outreach and therefore unable to successfully influence every flutist in the world. Similar to the NFA, we have an online exhibitor’s hall whose links navigate the member to sheet music, CDs and method books promoted by the artist. There are two memberships: Regular membership is priced at $9.99 and VIP at $39.99. Regular members will have live access to all 25 interviews and a chance to win a handmade Brent Haines Grenadillo Native American Indian flute. VIP members will have unlimited access...

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Irina Stachinskaya: Artist Interview

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Featured, Interviews, Issues, May 2017 | 0 comments

Irina Stachinskaya: Artist Interview

Can you give us 5 career highlights? In my opinion, there are just three of them: a) To meet your teacher/mentor b) To work hard c) to be in the right place at the right time How about 3 pivotal moments that were essential to creating the artist like you've become? I started to perfom when I was 7. I played blockflute and my mom was my stage partner. It is very important to be free on the stage, not to be scared of it. When you started to perform at young age, it‘s much easier to come into the process. Do you teach? master classes?  What do you like best about teaching? One year ago a friend of mine, Nikolay Plotnikov, in collaboration with Ilya Dvoretsky, founded the first flute center in Russia - The Magic Flute Center of Moscow. This is a truly magic place in a busy, speedy city. You can come here any time to play, to teach, to meet friends, to drink wonderful green tea, and, of course, to keep up your instrument in great condition. I hold orchestra master classes in the center and it’s like my studio, and the main joy in teaching is to observe an improvement of each person. What do you like best about performing? I love the contact between yourself and the audience. That moment when your musical thoughts find a response in other people’s hearts. When you've worked hard, it is very important to keep all musical ideas right to the stage. CD releases? In collaboration with fantastic musician, my mentor Phillip Moll we recorded the “Russian Dreams” album. It was released on the world famous Russian label “Melodia” a year ago. On this CD you will find Sonatas by Prokofiev, Taktakishvili, Denisov and Samonov and the small sparkling virtuoso piece written by soviet flutist Vladimir Tsybin. What does your schedule look like for the next 6 months? I have several invitations to festivals in Europe and in Russia. I am very happy to be invited again to Sir James Galway Festival in Weggis (Switzerland) this year. What are your goals personally?  Professionally? My dream to begin driving a car has just come true. Other principal aims are to speak fluent English and French, and to ride a bike! My professional aim is to achieve respect for the flute as a solo instrument – to rise it to the same concert level as violin, cello and piano. What inspires you the most in life? I try to find positive moments everywhere, whether it snows, or the sky is open and sunny or full of gray clouds. Sometimes books are inspiring to me. Sometimes it is also Facebook news that shows successful and happy faces of my dear friends. What can be more inspiring? What has been your greatest challenge? The most difficult thing, a challenge, is to change some negative opinions about you in society. When I was 17, I won a position to the Moscow Phil. My colleagues were not happy to welcome a 17-year-old person in the woodwind section. Another problem was that conductor really liked my playing. That period was very difficult to me. But quite soon relations between section members and me started to get better. Now we are very good friends. Who were your...

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Ma Bo: Artist Interview

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Featured, Interviews, Issues, May 2017 | 0 comments

Ma Bo: Artist Interview

Professor Ma Bo is the Associate Professor and a tutor for graduates at Conservatory School of Northwest University for Nationalities; the head of computer music lab of NorthWest University for Nationalities; Director of the China Flute Federation; Vice Chairman & Executive Director of Flute Art Committee of Gansu Province; Director of Wind Instrument Association of Gansu Province. B: What do you like best about performing? And about teaching? M: In my performing, I really enjoy expressing my true emotions and feelings through the very special language of music. In my teaching, when students' performing technique and ideas are improved or enriched through my instruction, I feel most satisfied and excited. On the other hand, I am often inspired and enlightened by my students' learning from my teaching and performing, which is also really exciting to me. B: What are your goals professionally? Personally? M: To be a flute teacher, I always try my best and encourage myself to be the one with great passions, a strong sense of responsibility, advanced educational ideas, effective teaching methods, solid professional technique, and care for my students. B: What inspires you most about teaching? M: That my teaching works! I suppose my students' passions, efforts and improvements that they have or make on what they are learning in flute playing, this inspires me the most. What's more, I often learn a lot through communication with my students, and their suggestions and advise on my teaching. B: Who were your teachers? Your mentors? M: He Shengqi, a well known flutist and a flute educator in China, a professor at Shanghai Conservatory School. B: Where did you study? The Department of Western Instruments, Shanghai Conservatory School, China B: Tell us about your upcoming performances or plans. M: I am planning to organize a flute band, and I hope each of my students will be a member of this band, which will be helpful for them in improving their playing techniques and performing ideas. B: Tell us about your favorite performance. M: Emmanuel Pahud is my favorite flute performer! B: What advice would you offer young flutists? M: Strong determination and persistence are the key for every young flutist, whenever faced with difficulties and setbacks in this process, you can definitely find the solutions to any problem as long as you are learning. If you give up, then there is no chance to find any solution. Never surrender and never give up! This is what I most want to say to them. B: Tell us one dream that you have for your life. M: I hope, one day, I may have enough money and enough time to travel around the world with my family. B: Tell us about something non-musical that you like to do most. M: I like running in my spare time, which is not only good for my health but also a good time to reflect on...

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Cobus du Toit Flute Studio Interviews

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 in Featured, Interviews, Issues, March 2017 | 0 comments

Cobus du Toit Flute Studio Interviews

  As part of our ongoing series of interviews with college flute studios across the United States, we interviewed Cobus du Toit, Assistant Professor of Flute at University of Massachusetts Amherst, and his students:  Isabelle Garland, Emily Kaplan, Alex Martin, Andrew Burden, Gloria Chiang, Katie Fejes, and Zachary Robarge We asked them about their passions, goals, inspirations, and advice they would offer to young students.      Cobus du Toit Assistant Professor of Flute, University of Massachusetts Amherst        Please list 3 pivotal moments that were essential to creating the artist that you've become.     As an undergraduate I desperately wanted to win the principal position with the National Youth Orchestra of South Africa. They scheduled a tour to Germany where we would perform Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in Bonn, Beethoven’s birthplace. Two failed auditions in previous years forced me to analyze and study my own playing very carefully. I knew that my playing had to show personality in addition to being fundamentally strong against the other players with naturally strong musical abilities. The preparation for that audition was a pivotal moment for my technical facility. Focused hard work paid off over raw musical talent. When an audience member was moved to tears during a recital, I realized performing had a therapeutic component that should be more important than our inner judgments about our own playing. We simply act as the conduit for bringing beauty back into the world. This realization transformed my playing and most of my performance anxiety went away since. Music is a subjective art form and you can’t base your self-worth as a musician on a panel’s opinion of you. A few years ago I performed as a finalist in a major competition and honestly thought that I would walk away victorious. When I did not receive any prize, of course I was very disappointment. After some reflection and discussion with the panel, I realized that I was able to convey musical gestures in exactly the way I wanted to and that was very empowering to me. From that point forward I committed to conjure up an emotional response from every single audience member, either positive or negative. The worst thing someone could say about a performance is that it was fine. I either want them to really dislike my artistic choices or fall in love with them.   What do you like best about performing and teaching? Performing – the sensation of improving everyday. I have become very interested in the art of practicing and how choices in the practice room influence my performances. The curiosity to improve my playing through skillful exploration has caused a major shift in my performing life. Recent repertoire choices also reflect this shift in the boundary of what I thought my limitations were. The idea of still improving in 30 years is exhilarating to me.   Teaching offers me the opportunity to become a more compassionate communicator. As educators we often meet students during times of frustration and self-doubt. When these emotional factors are combined with the stress of moving, making new friends and adjusting to college life, choice of words in lessons is incredibly important. It is possible to set a very high expectation without being dictatorial and I strive everyday to be more kind, compassionate and understanding...

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Marina Piccinini Artist Profile

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 in Featured, Interviews, Issues, March 2017 | 0 comments

Marina Piccinini Artist Profile

  A daring artist with diverse musical interests, flutist Marina Piccinini is in demand worldwide as a soloist, chamber musician and recording artist. Internationally acclaimed for her interpretive skills, rich, expansive colors, technical command and elegant, compelling stage presence, Ms. Piccinini has been hailed by Gramophone as “the Heifetz of the flute."     Well-known for her commitment to new music and her history of first performances and commissions by some of today’s foremost composers, Ms. Piccinini gives the UK premiere of Pulitzer Prize winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis’s Flute Concerto, written and commissioned specifically for her, at London’s Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrés Orozco-Estrada conducting, this February 2017. This August 4, she performs the Summer Festival Premiere of the Kernis Concerto with conductor JoAnn Falletta and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. She played the world premiere to great acclaim with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in early 2016, with the Detroit Free Press stating, “Piccinini's gleaming virtuosity, including the variety of articulations and colors she drew from the flute, was a source of wonder," and American Record Guide, “she played it with absolutely breathtaking virtuosity.” This was following a highly acclaimed tour with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra the previous season, performing the Nielsen Flute Concerto under the baton of Jukka-Pekka Saraste. Highlights of recent seasons include a highly acclaimed tour with pianist Andreas Haefliger this past spring 2016; performances at London’s Wigmore Hall and Southbank Center; Tokyo’s Casals and Suntory Halls; the Seoul Arts Center; New York's Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, and Town Hall; the Mozartsaal in Vienna’s Konzerthaus, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.  Also of note is the world premiere performance of Matthew Hindson's House Music, a concerto for flute and orchestra, with Roberto Minczuk and the London Philharmonic Orchestra at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. While equally at home with contemporary and traditional works, Ms. Piccinini is deeply committed to music of the present, and expanding the repertoire for her instrument. She has given first performances of works by some of today’s foremost composers, including Michael Colgrass, Paquito D’Rivera, Matthew Hindson, Miguel Kertsman, Lukas Foss, Michael Torke, John Harbison, David Ludwig and Roberto Sierra. An active recording artist with CDs on the Avie, Claves, and ECM labels, Ms. Piccinini is the latest in a distinguished line of virtuosi to make the Paganini Caprices their own. Her new Paganini arrangements can be heard on her recent highly acclaimed recording for Avie. The printed music for Piccinini’s Paganini arrangements was published in autumn 2014 by Schott Music. Other recent recordings include Tre Voci’s acclaimed debut CD of works by Tōru Takemitsu, Claude Debussy and Sofia Gubaidulina on the ECM label; a DVD of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire from the Salzburg Festival, along with an accompanying documentary entitled Solar Plexus of Modernism; for Avie, the J.S.Bach’s complete flute sonatas and solo Partita in collaboration with the Brasil Guitar Duo, and the flute sonatas of Prokofiev and Franck with pianist Andreas Haefliger; and for Claves, Belle Epoque with pianist Anne Epperson, and sonatas by Bartok, Martinů, Schulhoff, Dohnanyi, and Taktakishvili with pianist Eva Kupiec. The first flutist to win the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, Marina Piccinini’s career was launched when she won First Prize in the CBC Young Performers Competition...

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Interview with Brian Feliciano

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 in Blog, Featured, Interviews, March 2017 | 0 comments

Interview with Brian Feliciano

Brian Feliciano started playing the flute when he was 9 years old  Today, this 14 year old is the winner of the Music Hero TV Show Competition in the Philippines.  Viviana Guzman interviews him and finds out the benefit of exposure on...

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Flutists of NAMM

Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 in Blog, Featured, February 2017, Interviews, Issues | 0 comments

Flutists of NAMM

The NAMM Show is one of the largest musical instrument trade shows, which takes place in Anaheim every January.  This was my 5th show and my first one as an exhibitor for Fluterscooter bags!   My favorite part of the show is catching up with old flute friends and meeting new ones. Everyone has a unique NAMM experience, and I got to catch up with a few flutists at the show to talk about their NAMM experience.     Josh Jonsson     Of all the music-industry shows around the world, NAMM has to be one of the biggest and most famous. For years I've wanted to go, and this year, I finally got my chance! 2017's NAMM show was my first one ever, and what an experience! It is by far the largest trade show I've ever been to (NFA will feel like a little village fair after this!), and though this is an article about flutists at NAMM, and most of you probably think of me as a flute player, I was actually there in my official capacity as a performing artist for Uebel clarinets. My primary function was to use my experience as a professional clarinetist and sort of "instrument wizard" to relate the features of these fantastic instruments that make them different from other makers to all the clarinetists who stopped by, and to demonstrate them whenever appropriate. It was an incredible few days, not only because I was able to, in a very direct and fulfilling way, work with quite a few fantastic players one-on-one and match them with the ideal instrument for them; but also because I ran into just about *everyone* I know in the entire music industry! It was like a huge party where everybody was too exhausted from working to be drunk, but still really happy to see each other and to be there. Can't wait for next year! (I also never want to hear another trumpet or trombone again)   Sarah Jane Hargis     I have always dreamed of attending the NAMM convention since I first heard about it MANY years ago. My experience over exceeded my expectations by far. I was so excited and honored to have had the opportunity to perform at NAMM on behalf of Earthquaker Devices and Altus/Azumi Flutes. So, what did I do exactly? I did what any gear junky would do! I walked onto the largest convention floor I have ever stepped foot on and hunted for Earthquaker Devices and Altus/Azumi Flutes. On my hunt, I was amazed at the tremendous amount of artists, artisans, and the sales staff of these small and large pieces of art we call instruments. Instruments of all sorts were alongside the various gadgets and tricks to make them or the player even better, enhanced or just plain fun toys. Throughout the weekend, I ran into some amazing artists performing their art right in front of me! I was constantly impressed and overjoyed to be around so much music! When I found the Earthquaker Devices stage I was in heaven!  They had every pedal they make on stage for me to play with! WOW! I was like a kid in a candy store trying to decide where to start.  On top of that, my performance with Lisa Bella Donna was...

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Flute Ensembles!

Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 in Featured, February 2017, Interviews, Issues | 0 comments

Flute Ensembles!

This month, we are featuring flute ensembles!  Flute ensembles and flute choirs are popular with adult professionals and amateurs alike, and we decided to feature some of our favorites.   Featuring:  Ayre Flutes, Silver Lining Flutes, and the Emissary Quartet.       Ayre Flutes   How long have you been together? Dare I say nearly ten years?! It’s a good job we all get along well!   How did you decide to form the ensemble? Like many of the best things, by accident really! We met at music college and one of us wanted to perform a piece for eight flutes (Golden Sunset by Dave Heath) so we all got together to help her out. We enjoyed the experience so much, particularly using the contra-bass flute, that we decided to carry on rehearsing and performing- inspired by Anna Noakes and Wissam Boustany we explored further repertoire, commissioned new works and the rest is history!   What is the focus of the group? Ayre Flutes is a contemporary flute ensemble and so we concentrate on new music: challenging expectations, utilising new techniques and styles, and commissioning new works. We like to take this fresh approach into our performance style. Every member brings different and complementary strengths to the ensemble, and we love collaborating and exploring innovative music with both composers and other performers.   What does the upcoming year look like for the ensemble? We are putting the final touches on an exciting new concert programme for 2017 and also a new commission or two with some of the brightest new British composers. Watch this space…!   How do you decide and divide business tasks between the group? We share out the tasks as a group, taking into account each member’s skills and interests… and everyone’s busy schedules of course! Everyone pitches in and we like to work as a team.       Emissary Quartet How long have you been together? Our quartet began in 2009 when the four original members met at Carnegie Mellon University, in the studio of Jeanne Baxtresser and Alberto Almarza. As Emissary Quartet, we have performed together for two and a half years.   How did you decide to form the ensemble? We began as an undergraduate student ensemble at Carnegie Mellon, formed by Professor Alberto Almarza. During the three years we performed together at CMU, we learned that we loved to play together and share new repertoire with audiences. After graduation, we all moved to different cities to pursue Master’s degrees. As we finished our MM’s, the idea of pursuing flute quartet as a professional ensemble started percolating through our conversations, and in October 2014 we did our first performance and teaching residency in Pittsburgh. That year, as we planned various projects and got our feet wet in this new way of working together long-distance, our mission and purpose coalesced in a new way.   What is the focus of the group? EQ has a three-part mission as an ensemble. Our first priority is to give high caliber performances that communicate deeply and show off the incredible versatility and expressivity of four flutes together. Second, we are dedicated to expanding the flute quartet repertoire through commissioning new works and creating our own arrangements. Finally, each of us has a passion for education,...

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Interview with Trevor Wye

Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 in Featured, February 2017, Interviews, Issues | 1 comment

Interview with Trevor Wye

Trevor Wye studied the flute privately both with Geoffrey Gilbert and the celebrated Marcel Moyse. He was a freelance orchestral and chamber music player on the London scene for many years and has made several solo recordings, notably on his specialist instrument, the flute d'amour, which he reintroduced in modern times.  His formative years were influenced by many players and singers, particularly Alfred Deller, Marcel Moyse and William  Bennett. He was formerly a Professor at the Guildhall School of Music, London and for 21 years at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Trevor Wye is the author the famous Practice Books for the flute, which have received world wide acclaim and have been translated into eleven other languages.  More recently, his highly praised biography of Marcel Moyse was published in English and in four other languages.     Please list 3 pivotal moments that were essential to creating the artist that you've become. Practice while young. Be nice to people. Have a lot of luck.   What do you like best about performing? Getting paid - and a beer afterwards.   And teaching?   Seeing students gain success in their careers.   What are your goals personally?   To stay alive and keep busy.   Professionally? To stop playing before I make a complete ass of myself.   What inspires you the most in life? Reading and hearing about the terrible events that happen in the world, the misery, starvation, disease, violence and conflict…and feeling very lucky.   What has been your greatest challenge? Keeping up with what's new in flutes and music.   Who were your music mentors?  and what did you learn from them? Geoffrey Gilbert. Discipline and careful practice. Marcel Moyse. Artistry - and looking beyond the notes.   Can you give us 5 quirky, secret, fun, (don't think too much about this) hobbies or passions? Making electronic things and musical instruments - and combining them. Debunking idiots. Animals. Watching performers perform. World history.   What 3 things would you offer as advice for a young flutist? Practice - and listen to your teacher. Be kind to people. Take care with your appearance, behaviour and...

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