Musician and flute-maker Milton White in his amazing musical workshop.
Musician and flute-maker Milton White in his amazing musical workshop. John Gass

Milton's thong a stunner

HAVE you ever seen a thongaphone?

Chances are, the answer is "no".

Those who have been fortunate enough to meet Chillingham village's Milton White will know what the instrument is.

The huge structure made from PVC pipes has a unique sound.

Played by hitting thongs on the opening of the pipes, Mr White has perfected the art, along with the skill of creating flutes.

"I started making flutes when I worked as a stand-by electrician in a Sydney hospital," he said.

"My boss told me to look busy, so I started fiddling around with the concept and haven't looked back."

Mr White has a workshop to be envied.

With hundreds of trumpets, horns, flutes and other fascinating instruments hanging from the ceiling and walls, his collection is astounding.

He also has pianos and guitars.

"My workshop is full of instruments that are in a perpetual state of repair," he said.

"I'm always working on something."

He even has a glass flute that emits a crystal, crisply clear and pure sound when he plays.

Daily News staff were treated to "Lord of the Dance" which he played on the flute.

But he claims it is not as warm in tone as a wooden or plastic flute.

"I've made many flutes for many different people," he said.

"No two flutes are the same."

Mr White, who is also recovering from a road accident, is something of an icon in the small village that sits snugly among green rolling hills between Numinbah and Crystal Creek and north west of Murwillumbah.

"It's a beautiful village," Mr White said.

"I have the perfect setting to create."

He used to run a photographic shop and still has a soft spot for photography.

"I love working with musical instruments, but I still dream of photography," he said.



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