Category Archives: Family & Friends

A Poem For Nuala Níc Con Iomaire – By Biddy Jenkinson

Irish poet, Biddy Jenkinson

Irish poet, Biddy Jenkinson


Martin Doyle has a page on his website entitled In Praise of Wooden Flutes which presents a poem of the same name by Martin’s friend Biddy Jenkinson. Biddy, an Irish poet, short story writer and dramatist who writes in the Irish language, also sent Martin a poem that eulogises their mutual friend Nuala Níc Con Iomaire who passed away on July 16, 2010. That poem, Nuala, is reproduced below.

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In Praise of Wooden Flutes – by Biddy Jenkinson

Irish poet, Biddy Jenkinson

Irish poet, Biddy Jenkinson

A rare, witty, revealing and instructive poem by the Irish poet and writer Biddy Jenkinson (pictured right) has just been added to Martin Doyle’s website.

We boast ‘rare’ because this poem is penned in English and Biddy does most of her writing in the Irish language.

Biddy’s ode to the humble wooden flute can be viewed here: In Praise of Wooden Flutes »

Kind Words And Delightful Tunes

Included in recent additions to Martin Doyle Flutes is a very kind testimonial from Cathal McConnell and two delightful tunes from Ronan Browne.

Kind Words

Martin Doyle and Cathal McConnellThe following words are from the generous heart of Cathal McConnell:

“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 ageing 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.”

More comments from flute players all over the world can be viewed here: Testimonials »

Delightful Tunes

Ronan Bowne

The two tunes that Ronan Browne has offered, Planxty Irwin (jig) and Hector the Hero (waltz), that are both being played on a Martin Doyle D flute made of Cocus wood.

They can be heard here: Ronan Browne – Flute Music »

Ronan can also be seen playing tunes here: Video Clips »

Our gratitude to Ronan and Cathal for their generous contributions and kind support.

Music In The Family, Part 2

In the previous post, we highlighted a new album that has just been produced and released by Martin Doyle’s daughter Aoife Doyle. Continuing with the theme of music in the family, this post highlights some video clips produced and posted on YouTube by Martin’s son Joe Doyle – a talented multi-instrumentalist/singer/composer and voice artist. Joe recently spent some time at Martin’s home in County Clare and recorded three video clips with local flute player Brian Morgan. Brian is playing Martin Doyle flutes and Joe is playing bouzouki.

Two reels with Brian playing a keyless Martin Doyle traditional flute made of boxwood.

Brian and Joe play two jigs, the second of which is Christy Barry’s jig. Brian is playing a Martin Doyle keyed flute made from African Blackwood.

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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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Joe Doyle Plays The Mother And Child

Here’s a video clip of Joe Doyle playing The Mother and Child reel – complete with background accompaniment from the local bird life. Joe is playing a keyless Martin Doyle flute made from Brazilian rosewood in the key of D.

Very nice Joe!

The Flute Maker Martin Doyle By Joe Doyle

Here’s a lovely new tune played by Joe Doyle – a jig he composed in honour of his father, the flute maker Martin Doyle. Joe is playing a keyless Martin Doyle D flute made from Brazilian rosewood.

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Aoife Doyle At Classical Twist

Aoife Doyle

Aoife Doyle

Martin Doyle speaking to his webmaster today:

“I have an Aikido course all day on the 12th in Galway and when that’s over I’m straight into the car and down to Limerick. My daughter Aoife is singing at the UL concert hall and I’m really looking forward to it!”

Aoife Doyle will be performing as a guest singer in Vladimir Jablokov‘s Classical Twist concert at the University Concert Hall in Limerick on November 12, 2011.

Aoife trained formally as a jazz singer at the Newpark Music Centre in Dublin but sings in a range of styles including jazz, blues and folk. She is also an accomplished fiddle and tin whistle player.

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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