Double bass (Frank Healy) and flute (Martin Doyle) in action.
As recently posted on this weblog, Martin Doyle featured on a radio programme called The Music Tree. As the The Music Tree is about the Mpingo (African Blackwood) tree and its popular timber that is used extensively for the production of woodwind instruments, one of the requirements for the programme was some Irish traditional music that was predominated by the Irish flute. This task fell upon Martin Doyle to organise.
Asides from making great Irish flutes, Martin is also an Aikido instructor who offers classes at the town hall in Liscannor, County Clare – the Aikido group is known as Clare Aikikai. One of the many wonderful aspects of the County Clare is that music is an integral part of the culture there – musicians, singers and story tellers abound in Clare as they do all over the west of Ireland. And so it is with Martin’s Aikido group. Four of the members are strong traditional musicians so Martin got them together after an Aikido session one evening and they recorded a very nice piece of traditional music – and The Aiki Céilí Band was born!
The Aiki Céilí Band consists of Martin Doyle (flute), Éamon McCarthy (flute), Frank Healy (double bass) and Gabrielle Cappachione (guitar). Featured on The Music Tree documentary, the piece consists of two reels and can also be listened to here: The Aiki Céilí Band – Flute Music »
Muireann plays a Martin Doyle flute and has been kind enough to offer a testimonial for Martin’s website. She has also sent us a sample of her flute playing from the album Dual – a collaboration with Julie Fowlis, Éamon Doorley and Ross Martin that was released in November of 2008. Muireann’s testimonial reads:
“I have been playing a Martin Doyle African Blackwood ‘D’ flute since 2001. As a touring musician I am delighted with its reliability and consistency of tone, no matter where I am in the world. The flute is perfectly in tune which is very important when playing in a band context. I also love the fact that it can produce a variety of sounds from a powerful bark to a sweeter, clearer tone, making it a very expressive instrument and suitable for all kinds of music from wild Kerry Polkas to more subtle slow airs. I always recommend Martin’s flutes to my flute students.”