In every generation there are those who feel the urge to carry forward the essence of the culture, land and peoples that they are born into and amongst. Ireland’s Ronan Browne is such a person. A renowned piper, musician, composer, teacher, writer and historian, Ronan is not only making efforts to record and promote the traditional music of Ireland but, as the article below exposes, is also discovering and teaching new ways to hear and appreciate the beauty that lies at the core of Irish traditional music, language and culture. The grandson of the renowned Irish singer Delia Murphy, Ronan lives in Conamara with his wife and two children. For more information, kindly view the Ronan Browne links at the bottom of this page.
In the following article, which was originally published on the now defunct Gandharva Loka blog, Ronan Browne writes about the evolution and aims of his music appreciation and listening courses. We are very grateful to have this inspiring article on the Martin Doyle News blog – go raibh maith agat a Rónáin!
Essentially Learn to Listen – Listen to Learn is a “music appreciation/listening class” (using sound recordings, pictures and videos) where the students teach themselves how to interpret any piece of music they come across. Instead of lecturing the participants as to what they are listening to, they tell me, learning quickly to think on their own.
I have been running the course in varying lengths from 45 minutes up to 3 days – the longer you do it, the more fun you have…!
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 »
Martin Doyle has just published a new website that introduces his Aikido classes to the world via the internet.
Clare Aikikai – Aikido classes with Martin Doyle in Liscannor, County Clare, Ireland.
Martin Doyle first became interested in Aikido in 1987 at the recommendation of a friend and is now a nidan (2nd Dan (rank)) Aikido instructor – or sensei (teacher) in Japanese. He offers twice weekly Aikido classes for adults and children at Liscannor, County Clare.
Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as “the Way of unifying (with) life energy” or as “the Way of harmonious spirit.” Ueshiba’s goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury. Read more: Aikido »
For more information about Martin Doyle’s aikido classes in Liscannor, visit: Clare Aikikai »
Martin Doyle offers Aikido classes in Liscannor, County Clare.
Outside of flute making and music, one of Martin Doyle’s main interests is the practice of Aikido – a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba. Martin has been practicing Aikido with Irish Aikido Federation in Bray, County Wicklow, for more than two decades. Since moving to County Clare, has been offering regular Aikido classes at the Liscannor Community Hall.
“Aikido can be summed up like this: True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly! “True victory” means unflinching courage; “self-victory” symbolises unflagging effort; and “let that day arrive quickly” represents the glorious moment of triumph in the here and now.” – Morihei Ueshiba.
Martin also offers free Zen meditation classes for beginners at the Liscannor Community Hall on Tuesday nights before the Aikido session. More information here can be found here: Clare Aikikai »