Martin Doyle has just received some happy news from a young flute player who has been competing at this years Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann (All Ireland Festival of Music) in Drogheda, County Louth. Conan Whitley sent Martin a message to say that he had just won the Under 18 Slow Air Flute Competition at the fleadh and he sent a photo of himself with the first place trophy in one hand and his Martin Doyle flute in the other.
Conan Whitley holding the Under 18 Slow Air Flute Competition first place trophy and his Martin Doyle flute.
The All Ireland competitions are loaded with talented young musicians, the best of the best one could say, and to win first place in any category requires great effort, focus and dedication. Our heartiest congratulations go to Conan and his family!
The Doyle/Browne friendship goes back many years and they have always supported and encouraged each others endeavours. We have no idea what age Ronan is, but he seems at once ancient and ever youthful – a reflection of the man’s timeless soul perhaps, and his ever present sense of humour.
For the two or three people in the audience who don’t know him, Ronan Browne is an Irish musician and composer whose primary instrument is the uilleann pipes. He also sings and plays a raft of instruments including flutes. A lot can be gleaned about musicians from the music that they create. Have a listen to the following piece, entitled Critical Mass, that Ronan produced some years back …
And here’s a video clip of Ronan performing with Martin Doyle and others at a traditional music day during the 2008 Drogheda Arts Festival …
Thank you Ronan – your life and activities add a lovely hue to this world.
2018 marks the 35th year that Martin Doyle has been producing simple system wooden flutes (aka Irish flutes) – 35 years of focus and effort that have bought great joy to musicians of all ages and grades throughout the world and a great deal of satisfaction for Martin himself no doubt.
For Martin and the small team of people who assist him, it is always encouraging to get positive feedback from the people who purchase his flutes. Martin has recently received three very kind comments from grateful customers and we at Martin Doyle Flutes would like to share them with you.
The first is from a self-admitting “proud mother” in the beautiful County Waterford where, as the Waterford comedian Hal Roach used to say, “all the lovely crystal is made”. The second is from a novice fluter who resides in Dublin town and enjoys anonymity for reasons unknown but respected, and the third is from Sligo flute player Seamus Hernon. First, our proud mother:
I just want to thank you for your beautiful flute which we got from you a year and a half ago. Just to let you know my daughter Eve, who was 11 last month, won the under 12s flute reel and jig, the under 12s slow air on the flute, and the same two competitions on her whistle. Also her group cheoil won, so a cup and 5 gold medals her first time in the Waterford fleadh was a great result. Also she won a scholarship yesterday in her Comhaltas branch for flute and whistle. TG4 were there to capture the moment.
What a proud mother I am!
Edel Vaughan performing on tour with the Kilfenora Céilí Band. (Photo: Martin Connolly of Kincora Photography)
A little about Edel Vaughan …
Edel Vaughan is a native of the County Clare who has been playing music and participating in traditional and sean nós singing from an early age. She has won six All Ireland titles and has travelled the world with the renowned Brú Ború group. Edel has also travelled and worked with the dance show Ragús and has had the honour of being a member of the prestigious Clare Memory Orchestra for a specially commissioned millennium suite commemorating the death of Brian Ború in 1014 AD. Edel is also no stranger to the camera having performed on many television series including Abair Amhrán, Fleadh TV and Geantraí.
Currently touring with the renowned Kilfenora Céilí Band, Edel also teaches Irish and history at St. Flannans College in Ennis and traditional singing in many Comhaltas branches throughout Ireland. Edel released her debut album Spreagtha (Inspired) in April 2016 – here is a sample featuring several songs from the album.
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.