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Martin Doyle Interviewed on The West Wind

The Willie Clancy Summer School

The Willie Clancy Summer School, Milltown Malbay, County Clare, Ireland.

July in Ireland means many things to many people, no doubt. It’s mid-summer for one thing and the sun brings welcome warmth to the land, so there must be some joy in most hearts. For the Irish traditional music fraternity though, July means only one thing: the annual Willie Clancy Summer School which is held in Milltown Malbay, County Clare.

For a week or so each July, the small coastal town near Spanish Point is swamped with music teachers, students, aficionados and keen lovers of the great Irish music tradition for master classes, music sessions, concerts and all that comes with such activities. Milltown Malbay is synonymous with the famed Clare musician Willie Clancy (1918—1973) who was a great exponent of the uilleann pipes specifically and Irish traditional music in general.

July and the Willie Clancy also means a busy time for the local instrument makers like Martin Doyle. Being a flute maker of renowned, he also attracts a fair bit of attention during the Willie Clancy without even leaving his property near Liscannor. The path to his home and workshop is well trodden each July with requests for flute purchases, orders and repairs. Old friendships are renewed and new ones forged over a cup of tea, some chin-wag and and, no doubt, a tune or two.

Claire Keville

Musician, music teacher and broadcaster Claire Keville.

A local radio station, Clare FM, is one of the foremost promoters of traditional Irish music broadcasting in Ireland today. They have a popular programme called The West Wind which has been interviewing all sorts of people who are involved in the Willy Clancy week. Musician, music teacher and broadcaster Claire Keville was live on The Clare FM Cruiser in Milltown Malbay on July the 4th where she interviewed Martin Doyle and his good friend Ronan Browne who is a renowned piper from Conamara in County Galway.

The two friends feature at the beginning of Claire’s set of interviews for that day. They talk about Martin’s flute making, and Martin and Ronan play a couple of tunes together on their Martin Doyle flutes. Well worth a listen, as is the rest of the programme. Click the play button below to hear the show …

Aoife Doyle Releases New Album

Martin Doyle‘s daughter Aoife Doyle is an accomplished jazz singer who has just released her second album entitled ‘Clouds’. Differing from Aoife’s debut album, Clouds is a collection of original songs. These words from an article announcing the release on the Music Network website:

Clouds - a newly released album by Aoife Doyle

Clouds – a newly released album by Aoife Doyle

Aoife’s unique, expressive voice is equally at home with jazz, folk, country, bluegrass or blues, and her singing can evoke memories of the sophisticated, velvet tones of Ella Fitzgerald, the earthy, sweet lyricism of Patsy Cline or the straight‐up country clarity of Alison Krauss. Backed by Johnny Taylor’s subtle piano, Andrew Csibi’s inventive bass and Dominic Mullan’s sensitive percussion, the band has won much deserved critical acclaim.

Speaking about the CD, Aoife says, “We are delighted to release this collection of songs, our first album of original music. Our sound has developed a lot in the last few years and the fruits can be heard on this CD. Creatively we have come a long way. Music Network’s support has been imperative to this development. Their understanding of the elements that contribute to the development of an artist are undeniable. To avail of the support and experience Music Network has to offer has been a privilege I am most grateful for.”

Full details of the release of Clouds can be viewed here »

Reviews for Aoife’s debut album, ‘This Time the Dream’s on Me’:

“Doyle’s singing is coming from a deeper, more natural place too, with a feeling for the blues learnt from Billie Holiday and the rare ability to improvise vocally.”

“Her swinging quartet includes some of the best young players on the Dublin Scene.”

More reviews here »

Our congratulations to Aoife and the accomplished quartet of musicians that back her! Here is the title track from Clouds.

Inspiring Documentary Featuring A Martin Doyle Flute

Martin Doyle‘s good friend Shardul has recently been featured in a short documentary produced by Nelson Myers-Daly of Monk Party. Shardul, who teaches meditation around the central North Island of New Zealand, has been playing Martin Doyle flutes since 2000 and is a student the spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy who Martin has also made flutes for over the years. Shardul specialises in playing Sri Chinmoy’s meditative music and plays a few pieces in various settings during the documentary.

The particular flute that Shardul is playing is a three keyed D-flat flute made from African Blackwood that was in fact originally made for Sri Chinmoy. It was commissioned by Maral Siegel of New York who is also a student of Sri Chinmoy, and was presented to Sri Chinmoy at the Royal Albert Hall in London by Martin himself after the Master’s peace concert there in 2003 at a post concert function. Unfortunately an injury to one of Sri Chinmoy’s hands prevented him from playing the flute for very long and it was returned to Maral who eventually gave it to Shardul as a gift a couple of years later.

Since that time, Shardul has played Sri Chinmoy’s music in a wide variety of public spaces including hospitals. Encouraged by Sri Chinmoy who once told him that soulful, meditative music would help to alleviate humanity’s sufferings, Shardul has played regularly in hospitals in Auckland and Christchurch – particularly in the large ten floor glass topped atrium in the central Auckland hospital where some of the documentary footage was shot.

We hope you enjoy the video clip and we would also like to offer everyone our best wishes for the New Year. May your hopes and dreams bear fruit and bring you joy, peace and fulfilment in 2017. Kind regards from Martin Doyle and his team.

November 2016 Music Picks

To celebrate the Irish mid-autumn, we feature two video clips that have recently captured Martin Doyle‘s ear. The first is a video of Barbara Maria Willi (harpsichord) and Jana Semerádová (flute) performing a JS Bach Andante composition. Martin is a big fan of Jana’s flute playing and was very pleased to met her at the 20th Sligo Festival of Baroque Music in September, 2015.

The second is a video clip of the legendary Ronan Browne playing Uilleann Pipes. Martin and Ronan enjoy a friendship that goes back many years and they also share a mutual appreciation for each other as musicians. Martin recently commented that “Ronan’s music is as as honest as you’ll find”. Here’s Ronan’s latest video clip which was recorded in Annagh in the County Clare.

The full version of this video, which includes Ronan’s introduction in Gaeilge, can be viewed here: HUP MILLTOWN Ronan Browne »

Much thanks to Jana and Ronan for their efforts and integrity – it’s a privilege to hear this music.

New Flute Cases

From August 2016, Martin Doyle is offering a new variety of flute cases. The standard flute case offered with the purchase of a flute will be a wooden case as pictured below.

A keyless Martin Doyle D flute in one of the new wooden flute cases.

A keyless Martin Doyle D flute in one of the new wooden flute cases.

Martin is also offering the option of either plain or carved leather cases at extra cost for those who prefer their flutes protected by leather.

Eimear And Martin Playing Tunes

Irish flautist Eimear McGeown has just returned to Ireland from the Budapest Flute Academy in Hungary and she stopped in for a quick visit with Martin Doyle at his workshop in the County Clare today. As is often the case when musicians get together, one thing led to another and this took place…

Playing a few tunes with Martin Doyle Flutes in his workshop on his new style of Irish flutes. This one is boxwood, they're going to be great starter flutes…

Posted by Eimear McGeown – Flute on Thursday, 31 March 2016

The tunes are Tom Ward’s Downfall and Anderson’s – both reels.

The Clareman’s Trumpet

In March 2014, Martin Doyle was visited at his home in the County Clare by Robert Harris and Finola Finlay, who is a childhood friend of Martin’s. Robert had just taken part in a concertina school with the renowned Clare musician Noel Hill in Ballyvaughan, and subsequently wrote an article about the concertina (an instrument that is colloquially known as ‘the Clareman’s Trumpet’), and the musicians and instrument makers that are sprinkled liberally throughout Clare. Robert’s article can be viewed here: The Clare Trumpet »

Martin Doyle and Finola Finlay

Martin Doyle with his childhood friend Finola Finlay at his workshop in the County Clare

Here is a video clip of Noel Hill playing two reels on the concertina (starts at about 0.55).