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"When I awoke, all that was left of my life there... was the flute I'd taught myself to play."

- Jean-Luc Picard reminisces about his life experience as a Ressikan. (TNG: "Lessons")

The Ressikan flute was a small flute made of a tin-like material, native to the community of Ressik on the dead planet of Kataan.

Kamin's flute

Ressikan Flute

Picard's Ressikan flute.

In 2368, Captain Jean-Luc Picard acquired a Ressikan flute through an experience he had related to a probe launched from the dead planet. The probe projected a particle beam to Picard's brain, and played out a scenario by which Picard actually experienced over 50 years in the span of only 25 actual minutes. As he lived the life of a man called Kamin, he also learned how to play the flute, a skill that he retained after the probe finished its program. The probe was brought in and examined, inside of which the flute was found and given to Picard. (TNG: "The Inner Light")

Picard considered the flute to be one of his most prized possessions. It represented, to him, an entire lifetime he lived in only 25 minutes, a life completely different from that aboard the Enterprise, with a wife, children and even a grandson. As of 2379, Picard kept the flute on his desk in his ready room aboard the USS Enterprise-E. (TNG: "Lessons"; Star Trek Nemesis)

Picard Mozart trio, Program 1 was a musical composition Picard wrote for the Ressikan flute. (TNG: "A Fistful of Datas")

Media

Background information

Ressikan flute prop

The flute prop with case

  • The music of the Ressikan flute was not played by Patrick Stewart, but by Brice Martin. [1]
  • The tune played by Picard in "The Inner Light" was an excerpt from "Scottish Fantasy", originally composed by Max Bruch and re-composed by Jay Chattaway.
  • The sound of the flute is closer to a tin whistle, but can be matched fairly well with the higher notes on the piccolo.
  • The prop was sold as Lot #537 at the 40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection auction. The buyer paid $48,000 for the lot, after winning it with a bid of $40,000. Patrick Stewart commented in an interview after with laughter "It doesn't play; it's not a real flute." Patrick Stewart's son, however, said it "played well" for him.The catalogue estimate for the lot was 800 to 1200 dollars. [2]

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