Category Archives: CD

Music In The Family, Part 1

“We had music in the house…” It is an expression that one quite often hears when Irish musicians and singers recall the good fortune of having parents, relatives and friends who would play their instruments, sing their songs and tell their stories during informal gatherings and house sessions. This ‘living tradition’ has been the catalyst for a great many people into the joyful (and sometimes storm-tossed) river that is music and Martin Doyle’s family, upstream and down, is no exception. Martin’s three children, grown adults now, are all instrumentalists and singers. Martin himself recounts the influence of his parents and grand-parents in his own development as a musician and flute maker. So the gift of music often flows down through the generations and evolves as creative self-expression in those who are blessed to receive it.

In the case of the Martin’s daughter, Aiofe Doyle, it is through the voice that the gift of music seems to have manifested itself most powerfully although it is worth noting that she is also an accomplished fiddler. This past August, Aiofe released her debut CD, This Time the Dream’s on Me, a jazz album backed by a four piece band which Journal of Music introduces with these succinct words:

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Bran Releases New Album

Martin Doyle has for many years had a close association with the members of the Hungarian Irish music group Bran and has travelled to Hungary on a number of occasions to take part in Irish music festivals to offer flute workshops, recitals and inspiration. Two of the members of Bran, Gáborján Kovacs and Judit Kuti, play Martin Doyle flutes and Martin has often commented on the enthusiasm that the Hungarians have for Irish music and of the joy and inspiration he has received from his association with Bran and the Hungarian Irish music festivals.

Int én Bec - Bran's New AlbumBran has recently released a CD of Irish tunes that are linked by the common theme of ‘birds’. The title of the CD is Int én Bec – Birds’ Day – Rigmadár (‘Birds’ Day’ in Irish, English and Hungarian) and it is a delightful offering of simplicity, purity and joy that are distinctive features of Bran’s music.

A sample track can be heard here: Birds At The Fairy Fulling »

And here is a video clip featuring the music of Bran:

A Gift From Cathal McConnell

Willie Clancy playing the pipes.

Willie Clancy playing the pipes.

With the Willie Clancy Summer School happening at Miltown Malbay in the County Clare each year, the middle of summer becomes a busy time for Martin Doyle. There is a steady stream of visitors to his house near Liscannor and, when he gets a chance, Martin heads into Miltown Malbay to socialise and catch a session or two. Flutes to deliver, orders to take – the busy life of an artisan flute maker!

During the Willie Clancy, Miltown Malbay is packed with hundreds of visitors, musicians, singers and dancers, young and old, from all over Ireland, Scotland and further afield. Standing room only! Traditional music flows like the water in the rivers and streams of Ireland and a unique traditional culture lives, breathes and is propagated during this ‘gathering of the clan’.

Cathal McConnell

Cathal McConnell (photo credit*)

One visitor Martin had the opportunity to welcome into his home this year was the renowned flute player, tin whistler and singer Cathal McConnell, who gifted to Martin a copy of his latest CD, Auld Springs Gies Nae Price. Needless to say, Martin was thrilled at Cathal’s kind gesture. Auld Springs Gies Nae Price is a joint effort between Cathal McConnell and Duncan Wood. A multi-instrumentalist musician, artist and author, Duncan Wood hails from the North East of Scotland and plays fiddle on the album.

Like most developed flute players, it is probably a safe bet that Cathal has more than one flute in his quiver. If that is the case, we know that at least one of them is the Martin Doyle C flute as it features in one of the tracks on Auld Springs Gies Nae Price and with Cathal on the CDs jacket photos. The track in question (track eight) comprises two lovely airs, The Fairy Strain and The Hon Mrs Maule of Panmure’s Favourite, and is introduced in the CDs accompanying booklet thus:

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New Music Samples Added

Just added to Martin Doyle Flutes: three music samples from Elizabeth Petcu’s debut solo flute album, Just Me. Elizabeth Petcu is a good friend of Martin Doyle’s who lives in Bray, County Wicklow. They also constitute two thirds of the music trio Rune.

Elizabeth Petcu's debut album, Just Me.

Elizabeth Petcu’s debut album, Just Me.

Former Principal Flute (25+ years) with the RTE Concert Orchestra, Elizabeth Petcu studied with Professor Doris Keogh at The Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. She has an honours music degree from Trinity College Dublin and holds a Masters in Music Therapy from the University of Limerick. Just Me is a distillation of all these experiences.

The fourteen tracks that comprise Just Me were recorded at the acoustically exceptional Calary Church near Roundwood in County Wicklow and the album is a lovely interpretation of Elizabeth’s favourite repertoire.

Elizabeth recorded Just Me on a Muramatsu concert flute fitted with a wooden headjoint and a keyless simple system Irish flute. Both the wooden headjoint and the Irish flute were made by Martin Doyle. The three tracks that have been added to Martin Doyle’s website are those that Elizabeth recorded using her Martin Doyle keyless Irish flute.

Elizabeth Petcu playing a Martin Doyle flute.

Elizabeth Petcu playing a Martin Doyle flute.

The two Telemann tracks are particularly worth noting as they were technically challenging in that Elizabeth decided to perform them on her Martin Doyle keyless simple system flute – just six open holes with lots of half-holing and cross fingering – quite an accomplishment! Throughout this album, Elizabeth Petcu exhibits her capacity as a mature flute player of great technical capacity that is coupled to a heart-felt passion and sensitivity for her selection. Just MeDebussy, Telemann, Bozza, Bach, Ibert, Honegger, Bates and Karg-Elert – with a traditional Irish air as a fitting finale.

The three tracks can be heard here: Flute Music – Elizabeth Petcu »

Our gratitude to Elizabeth Petcu for her kind permission to display these tracks. For those interested, Just Me can be purchased from the homepage of Elizabeth’s website »