BRANCHING OUT: Local Musicians Chart Overseas with New Album

collaborative album from Peter Phippen and Ivan Lunde Jr. hits No. 21 on U.K.–based music radio chart

Parker Reed |

OVERSEAS SUCCESS. Local flutist Peter Phippen has hit the top 100 albums on the U.K.'s One World Music Radio chart. (Submitted photos)

While some in the music industry have their eyes on the prize – a.k.a. chart-topping success  – one local musician knows it’s not all about the numbers.

Grammy Award-nominated and Eau Claire-based musician Peter Phippen has a career marked by overseas success as a world flute specialist and natural folk artist. His latest record with Ivar Lunde Jr. – professor emeritus of music at UW-Eau Claire – entitled Primordial Forest, which dropped in November, recently hit number 21 out of 100 albums on the United Kingdom-based One World Music Radio chart, which compiles the latest and greatest from artists around the globe.

“It’s cool, but it doesn’t last,” Phippen said of his latest accomplishment. “Things like chart success and streaming numbers are fun to see, but ultimately it is about making music you’re proud of. I’ve been lucky enough to make a few records people enjoy, so I’ll keep making music regardless of whether things chart or not.”

Phippen and Lunde’s record is entirely improvised, with Phippen playing a combination of flutes and Lunde lending his ambient arrangements, plus performances on unique instruments such as wine glasses. Phippen said harnessing his creativity through improvisation is what leads to the best results for him.

“I don’t want to quit, I just love to play,” Phippen said. “My approach to making a record for a long time has been to just get into the studio and try to capture a feeling through improvisation. The magic happens for me when we’re able to grab a great moment that only could’ve happened without having a plan beforehand.”

Primordial Forest from Peter Phippen and Ivar Lunde Jr. is available on all major streaming platforms.