Sound & Fair is an organisation that aims to realise a sustainable trade in African blackwood through a Chain of Custody linking forest-dependent people in Tanzania to woodwind instrument musicians throughout the world.
Martin Doyle has recently been featured in a Sound & Fair news item regarding a new batch of Irish flutes that he has produced from Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified African Blackwood – a ‘world’s first’ for the flute making community. Martin’s concern for conservation and the conscious use of timber goes back to when he first began working with wood. In the Sound & Fair article he comments:
Elizabeth Petcu playing a Martin Doyle simple system wooden (Irish) flute.
Arminta Wallace has recently published an article for the Irish times about Martin Doyle’s good friend Elizabeth Petcu who resides in the coastal town of Bray in the County Wicklow. For over 25 years Elizabeth served as the principal flautist with Ireland’s RTÉ Concert Orchestra until a hearing problem (otosclerosis) sidelined her career. Despite this impediment, Elizabeth has gone on to record a solo flute music album, Just Me, and has formed the inspirational music ensemble Rune with Martin Doyle (flutes) and Deborah Armstrong (piano). Here are two excerpts from Arminta Wallace’s article:
The ability to hear plays such a crucial role in making music that it’s almost impossible to imagine how a professional musician feels when they’ve been diagnosed with a condition called otosclerosis, or progressive deafness. “I’m in good company, apparently,” says the flautist Elizabeth Petcu with a wry smile. “Beethoven is thought to have had it as well.” […] Petcu formed a trio with the pianist Deborah Armstrong and the traditional flutemaker and player Martin Doyle. They call themselves RUNE, and they take an innovative approach to live performance; their concerts blend visual imagery, poetry and prose with various different kinds of music, from baroque to improvisation via the slow air. “I wanted to keep playing. But I didn’t want to do the very conventional, formal kind of classical recital,” she says. “So what we do is, we pick a theme and tie the music together with words and the beautiful visual imagery of Martin’s photographs.
Flutewise article – click to see a larger version.
One of Martin Doyle’s recent accomplishments, an F flute made in Boxwood, was featured late last year in an article about Irish flute makers. The article is based on an answer to an email enquiry sent to the Irish flute repair expert Jon Dodd regarding recommended Irish flute makers – and was published by Flutewise magazine. From their website:
Since 1988, when Liz Goodwin (@flutewise) founded Flutewise, our organisation has provided fantastic services to young flute players, their parents and their teachers. Throughout these 25 years Flutewise has been renowned for our vast number of fun events. Ranging from small events lasting a few hours to two day events for over 1,000 young players, Flutewise events have taken place both in the UK and in countries all over the world.
The ‘F’ flute was made specially as a gift for the spiritual musician and meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy on the occasion of the Master’s 76th birthday. It was a first-of-it’s-kind for Martin Doyle and, by all accounts, a beautiful flute with exceptionally sweet tone.
Jon Dodd is an Irish and concert flute repair specialist who lives not far from Martin Doyle in Knockliscrane, Miltown Malbay, County Clare. Click on the image above to see the full article as it appeared in Flutewise. Special thanks to Liz Goodwin of Flutewise for supplying the image.