Category Archives: Irish Traditional Music

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.

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).

The Pipes, The Pipes Are Calling

Here’s a couple of lovely video clips featuring two renowned Irish musicians playing the Uillean pipes. The first is a duet featuring our good friend Ronan Browne performing with Jimmy O’Brien Moran at the Morpeth Chantery Bagpipe Museum in Northumberland, England.
The second features Ronan Browne performing solo on his James Kenna pipes that date back to the 1780s. This clip was recorded in the Chapter House of St Mary’s Cathedral in Kilkenny, Ireland, and includes some explanation about the Kenna set in the context of the evolution of Uillean pipes. Hope you enjoy these wee treats …

Martin Doyle Visits New Zealand

In the final three weeks of 2014, Martin Doyle abandoned the Irish winter for a well earned vacation in the form of a first time visit to New Zealand and the unique experience of Christmas in a sunny southern summer. After an epic thirty-six hour journey via London, Abu Dhabi and Sydney, Martin finally arrived in Christchurch which is in the Canterbury region of New Zealand’s South Island. During his stay in Christchurch, Martin was involved in a couple of informal music sessions that were held at The Lotus-Heart vegetarian restaurant.

An informal music session at The Lotus-Heart.

An informal music session at The Lotus-Heart – from left: Shardul, Martin Doyle, John Wood and Jade Bell.

Martin also enjoyed a visit with local musicians Jade Bell and John Wood who live at Fisherman’s Point at the southern tip of Lake Ellesmere. Jade and John perform as a folk duo around Christchurch and were also involved in The Lotus-Heart sessions.

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Eimear McGeown Accepts A Challenge

A wee note highlighting a Facebook post by the brilliant Irish flautist Eimear McGeown. Eimear was recently challenged by her sister Erin to participate in the ‘Trad Tune Challenge‘ which aims to raise funds for the St. Patrick’s Hospital Foundation.

For the challenge Eimear plays a lovely slow air on a recently completed keyed Irish flute made by Martin Doyle. To hear the piece, click on the image below…

Eimear McGeown

Eimear McGeown playing a slow air on a Martin Doyle keyed flute for her Trad Tune Challenge

Irish Music On A Summers Day In Japan

This sweet reel, The Two William Davises, is being performed by a group of friends on a fine summers day in Japan. The flute player is Yumi Takahashi who, when the video clip was recorded, had been playing her new Martin Doyle flute for just over two weeks. Yumi also plays tin whistle. Enjoy the music…

Cairde Chualann Feature 5 Martin Doyle Flutes

The following video clip features a traditional Irish children’s tune called The Dingle Regatta being performed by Cairde Chualann at the 2013 All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Derry. Cairde Chualann is a group of traditional musicians and dancers who hail from the counties Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare. The group has several flute players who play Martin Doyle flutes and we are told that there were three six-keyed, one nine-keyed and one keyless flute being played in this piece. The harpist is Claire O’Donnell who accompanies Martin Doyle (flute) playing a lovely tune that can be heard here: The Blue Hills of Antrim »

Enjoy the music…

Ellen O’Brien Playing A Martin Doyle Flute

The photo below is of Ellen O’Brien – a young flute player from County Cavan – playing a Martin Doyle flute at the Life of Reilly Festival in August 2013. Ellen played a selection of tunes at Flute Wednesday segment of the festival with Matt Molloy, Órlaith McAuliffe, Laurence Nugent and many others.

Ellen loves her Martin Doyle flute and feels that the tone of the flute is brilliant. She won the Ulster Flute Under 12 competition for dance tunes and slow airs, and then went on to the All-Ireland competitions and really enjoyed the whole experience.

Ellen O'Brien playing her Martin Doyle flute

Ellen O’Brien playing her Martin Doyle flute.

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.