Frances Jones - Amazing Alphorn
" it's amazing - you're amazing - it sounds amazing "
... and so Amazing Alphorn was born.
Frances is a professional classical musician, initially playing oboe, then adding French horn and saxophones, performing all over the world.
One close encounter with an alphorn CD and she was hooked.
Performing on the alphorn
Frances now plays her alphorns all over the world too - as a soloist in concerts with orchestras and bands, in solo recitals, or as a guest artist at weddings, parties, events and functions.
She also gives talks about alphorn history, illustrated with playing, video and historic pictures. Watch and listen to samples in the picture gallery and video & audio pages.
Frances is a world authority on the alphorn and its culture, with numerous publications about many aspects of the instrument. She has assembled comprehensive interactive archives of historic alphorn artwork and postcards.
The alphorn projects a wonderful warm sound in the open-air, indoors and in the concert hall.
Frances has three alphorns.
One is made by Swiss alphorn player Roger Zanetti who was fed up with carrying a 12ft alphorn around. It is made of carbon fibre, weighs just 3lbs and is telescopic, nesting down into itself to fit into a medium-sized backpack. The design was developed over 20 years ago and you can have one made in any colour you want! They have interchangeable sections so that when set up at different lengths, they can play different selections of notes.
Frances's second alphorn is a wooden instrument made in the traditional Swiss way by Bill Hopson of Canada: a pine tree of the desired shape is sawn in half lengthways, gouged out and bound back together with split willow or ratten. It takes around 60 hours to make a wooden alphorn.
Frances's third alphorn is made by Franz Schüssele in Bavaria. Its seven sections nest together like Russian dolls, so that it all fits into a carrying case exactly one centimetre smaller in each dimension than the hand-baggage allowance for flying!