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Hi Martin !!
Thanks so much for sending such a great instrument !!! To be quite honest, I really think your weapons (meaning your lovely flutes) have been improving all the time. As you know, many of my friends and students ordered your flutes and I'm always moved with the incredible standard of your recent flutes !! (I even sometimes envied their flutes and wanted to have them !!)
The flute came today. I'm almost at a loss for words (or too many words). It will be a pleasure in getting to know it, and having it teach me. Superb intonation, warm open reediness, jewel tones, smooth top to bottom. I'm also very impressed with the structure and colour of the tone wood, and the tone colour it produces. I couldn't be happier with this flute. Suzuki's 'Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind' has been my guide for many years and like zen practice, the flute demands that I have a 'beginner's mind'. [...]
[...] Now, after trying your flute, I'm pretty speechless. It's a whole new experience of playing. I did read the testimonials on your website before ordering. Everybody was talking about the 'ease of playing' your flutes and I couldn't really believe that the experience with a Martin Doyle flute would be so much of a difference compared to other flutes. But now I totally understand what they meant. I can not believe that playing the Irish flute could be that easy. All notes are perfect in tune, there's really no effort to produce a great sound, even with very few air.
I love the flute, Martin. Maybe I should say what it is I like about it. Well, first of all it vibrates very freely without much effort of blowing. It is finely in tune with itself and the tone is rich and smooth. The keyed notes have a clarity and strength that I have not encountered before, and I think that ending the flute at the low D makes all the difference to that note. Another good point that I have noticed is that it is very easy to do breath vibrato on it. So all in all a job very well done. Congratulations. I can perhaps, appreciate more than most the work that went into making such a superior instrument, because I do a bit of woodturning myself.
The unlined timber head-joint (of Martin Doyle's flutes) with no metal tuning slide gives the flute a dynamic range which I have only ever experienced on all-timber Rudall & Rose flutes. I find that this flute allows huge possibilities for expression when playing both rhythmic dance music and slow airs. I hope many more people around the world will end up playing Martin's flutes. He is my personal favourite contemporary flute maker and general guru. I changed from a top of the range 150-year-old Besson flute to one of Martin's Celtic style flutes, which I much prefer. I only ever use the old one when I need to use keys, which is very rarely!
I have been playing a Martin Doyle traditional style 'D' flute made from African blackwood since 2001. As a touring musician I am delighted with its reliability and consistensy of tone, no matter where I am in the world. The flute is perfectly in tune which is very important when playing in a band context. I also love the fact that it can produce a variety of sounds from a powerful bark to a sweeter, clearer tone, making it a very expressive instrument and suitable for all kinds of music from wild Kerry Polkas to more subtle slow airs. I always recommend Martin's flutes to my flute students.
My friend, flute maker and flute player extraordinaire Martin Doyle made my B-flat and C flutes, both of which are a complete joy to play! On a recent visit he also gave my aging Rudall and Rose a much-needed and thorough overhaul. Its cork had been there 150 years!!! A heartfelt thank you Martin, for your craftsmanship as well as your kindness.
I would heartily recommend Martin Doyle as a flute maker. It's as simple as that!