Tag Archives: maker

Martin Doyle To Attend Sligo Festival Of Baroque Music

The Model, County SligoThe three day 20th Sligo Festival of Baroque Music commences on September the 25th and Martin Doyle has been invited by the festival’s organisers to attend as an artisan exhibiter and to offer a flute making workshop.

Martin has been making simple system Irish flutes since the early 1980s and his first batch of Baroque flutes were crafted in 2000. Modelling his Baroque flutes on an eighteenth century Rottenburgh flute design, Martin has made several batches since and generally uses either boxwood or African Blackwood.

Martin Doyle Baroque Flute made of Boxwood

Martin Doyle Baroque Flute made of Boxwood

The 20th Sligo Festival of Baroque Music is being held at The Model in Sligo and Martin Doyle’s Flute Maker Workshop begins at 11 am on Saturday September the 26th.

More information here: 2015 Programme of Events »

Martin Doyle Flutes’ 30th Anniversary

Martin Doyle Flutes : 1983—2013

Martin Doyle Flutes' 30th Anniversary : 1983-2013 This year marks the 30th anniversary since Martin Doyle began his odyssey as a flute maker. No hoopla, probably not going to have a party, have put a little logo on the homepage of the website – that’s about it folks! Life goes on, flute orders come in, and Martin feels that the best way to celebrate is to carry on with the creative process that he began with and try all the time to improve his flute designs with the people who will play them in mind. This ethos has always been to the fore in his heart and mind from the outset and continues to drive him today.

A Message From Martin Doyle

Martin Doyle

“I would like to thank everyone for their support over the past thirty or so years. There are many dear friends who have been very encouraging and supportive through this process and that includes my family of course. I have also been very grateful to receive kind and encouraging comments from people all over the world who have purchased my flutes.

“I consider the act of creating instruments for musicians a privilege that cannot be understated. It is also a journey of partnership that requires the interplay and focus of both parties – the flute maker and the flute player. This has helped me to evolve and has also kept me inspired and active in the field of flute making. In my view these are sacred connections in the eternal quest for expression through the universal language that is music.

THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH! – Martin.”

A Tune To Celebrate


Tune: The Flute Maker Martin Doyle – by Joe Doyle.

The Flute Maker Martin Doyle By Joe Doyle

Here’s a lovely new tune played by Joe Doyle – a jig he composed in honour of his father, the flute maker Martin Doyle. Joe is playing a keyless Martin Doyle D flute made from Brazilian rosewood.

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Ambulating Kiwis Visit Martin Doyle

Martin Doyle gets his fair share of visitors to his home and workshop in County Clare and they come from near and far. This week saw a small group of intrepid Kiwis pop in for a ‘cuppa and a chat’. Nearing the conclusion of a two week walking tour through the west of Ireland, the happy and hardy group were spending a couple of days in the area with visits to local artisans, walking the Burren and a night on Inis Meáin (one of the Aran Islands). Martin and his assistant Gwenn Frin were delighted to receive the guests who hailed from New Zealand, the US and Canada.

Walking tour leader Rachel Ryan (back left) and members of the group with Martin Doyle (back centre) and Gwenn Frin (back right) among a forest of wooden flutes at Martin's workshop in County Clare.

Walking tour leader Rachel Ryan (back left) and members of the group with Martin Doyle (back centre) and Gwenn Frin (back right) among a forest of wooden flutes at Martin’s workshop in County Clare.

The tours are led by County Limerick native Rachel Ryan who has lived in Nelson, New Zealand, since 1980. Each year Rachel and her team guide walking tours of west Ireland and also take visitors to New Zealand on walking tours throughout the beautiful Tasman District in the north-western region of New Zealand’s South Island.

Martin has developed a connection with New Zealand since meeting his friend (and webmaster) Shardul in 2001 when Martin was still living in County Wicklow. Shardul was looking for a flute for his meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy and arrived at Martin’s workshop in Bray. For a period spanning four or five years after that, Martin made a small number of Irish flutes from native New Zealand timbers that were supplied to him by his Kiwi friend. Shardul currently lives in Nelson and met Rachel Ryan at the 2012 Race Unity Day which is organised by the Nelson Multicultural Council. One thing leads to another in this world of ours…

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The Flute Maker And The Cittern

As always, I was very pleased to receive a call from Martin Doyle via Skype this morning. The distance between Martin in Ireland and myself in New Zealand is very close to 12,000 miles. Skype allows us the illusion that we are sitting across the kitchen table from each other and so we chat regularly and sometimes play music to each other. Today our conversation went something like this:

“Good morning Martin.”

“Good evening Shardul – just a minute…”

… Martin disappears briefly and reappears with an instrument that I at first thought was a bouzouki …

Nikos Apollonio

Luthier and boat builder Nikos Apollonio with one of his bell citterns.

“No, it’s a cittern. Just got it. The maker, Nikos Apollonio, who is from Maine, dropped it off himself this morning and I haven’t been able to put it down since!”

Martin proceeded to play some lovely tunes on his brand spanking new cittern – a beautifully made ten string instrument with a spruce sound board, walnut body and rosewood fretboard. It looked stunning and sounded amazing! Martin commented on its quality and simplicity.

Over the years I have watched and listened to Martin sing, play whistle, Irish flute, baroque flute, concert flute, banjo, mandolin and bouzouki – now the cittern. In my opinion, he is a very good musician who plays music from his heart and soul with a real love for quality of sound.

“What attracted you to the cittern”, asks I.

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FSC Certified Blackwood Arrives

Martin Doyle has long dreamed of making flutes using timbers that have been produced in environmentally friendly and socially equitable modes. In recent years, Martin has been involved in a number of projects that have highlight a movement toward that reality and he has participated in the making of three radio documentaries highlighting the sustainable use of African BlackwoodMpingo as the valued tonewood is known in east Africa. Martin is the first flute maker to produce an Irish flute from FSC certified African Blackwood having received a small amount of the timber some months ago.

Martin Doyle with the newly arrived FSC certified African Blackwood.

Martin Doyle with the newly arrived FSC certified African Blackwood.

This week Martin received his first full shipment of FSC certified African Blackwood which prompted the following comment:

“The arrival of this timber gives us the feeling of working in a sustainable environment that is genuinely beneficial to the people of Tanzania and we are very happy to be participating in a chain of events that has a positive outcome for everyone involved. It’s a great joy!”

Martin thinks that this shipment of timber has been harvested from the sustainably managed Mpingo forests around the village of Kikoli in eastern Tanzania – an area Martin visited during his trip to Tanzania in 2009. Martin’s plan is to be using FSC certified African Blackwood exclusively from the beginning of 2012 as his present stock of material diminishes. The flutes made from the FSC certified timber will be stamped accordingly.

Conversations on the Coast

In September of 2010, Bristolian Nick Hand visited Martin Doyle at his workshop in Clare. After recording a conversation with Martin and taking a raft of photographs in Martin’s workshop, Nick created a ‘soundslide’ that has been included on his Slowcoast website – one of dozens of inspirational soundslides that he has created during his cycle tours around the coastal regions of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

Conversations on the Coast – by Nick Hand

Conversations on the Coast – by Nick Hand

Nick has just released Conversations on the Coast – a beautifully presented hardcover publication offering a selection of twenty stories and photography from the Slowcoast project.

Conversations on the Coast brings together artists and craftspeople from around the British Isles who talk about their work, their life and their passion.

“What I love most about this book is the humility of actually quite ordinary artisans chosen by chance as they came into focus on one man’s remarkable journey around the coast. What we learn is that when you take the time to look, even the apparently straight forward lives of a bicycle repairer, hat maker or basket weaver are driven by passion and a deep seated love for their work. It is inspirational.” – Robin Wood, Chair of The Heritage Crafts Association.

Nick Hand’s visit with Martin Doyle has been included in the book and Martin was delighted to receive a copy by post this week.

Nick Hand cycled his way through some beautiful landscapes and interviewed some very interesting souls.

Nick Hand cycled his way through some beautiful landscapes and interviewed some very interesting souls.

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Martin Doyle Wins RDS National Craft Award

July 27, 2011

Martin Doyle receives the 2011 RDS Crafts Competition Award

Martin Doyle receives the 2011 RDS Crafts Competition Award (Musical Instruments category).

Martin Doyle has just received the honour of being awarded first prize in the ‘Musical Instruments’ category of the 2011 RDS National Crafts Competition. The award was for a nine key flute made of cocus wood that Martin finished in April.

Martin drove from County Clare to Dublin with his apprentice Gwenn Frin on Wednesday to accept the award and they were joined at the RDS ceremony by Martin’s long-time friend and Aikido teacher Sean MacRuairi (John Rogers).

Martin Doyle has previously entered his flutes in two craft competitions winning major awards on both occasions. He was awarded the Crafts Council of Ireland Medal in 1985 (with an eight key flute made from African Blackwood) and the prestigious RDS California Gold Medal (overall winner) in 1993 (also with an eight key flute made from African Blackwood). Delighted by the encouragement of winning this years award, Martin had this to say:

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Bob Denton’s Photos Of Martin Doyle

Martin Doyle portrait by Bob Denton

Martin Doyle portrait – by Bob Denton.

A number of photographs have just been added to Martin Doyle’s Photostream on Flickr. They were taken by Bob Denton who has been Martin’s friend since the 1970s.

Bob Denton is a photographer and musician who plays guitar, mandolin, claw hammer banjo and tin whistle. Originally from South Africa, Bob is credited with starting the Barleycorn Music Club on Woodbridge Island, Cape Town, in 1975. He also compèred and performed at many South African Folk Festivals.

In the realm of photography, Bob worked for Deegan Photo on Leeson Street in Dublin during the early 1970s and took the photo of the Book of Kells which was used on the one and five punt notes in Ireland. He also took many of the photographs for the Doors of Dublin poster originally produced by Borde Failte.

Bob first met Martin Doyle when he moved to Bray in County Wicklow in the early 1970s. Martin, a native of Bray, had just begun to play the banjo and he and Bob would play together regularly.

Bob Denton

Bob Denton with his trusty banjo and Doolin t-shirt! (Photo credit: Bob’s Facebook page.)

View Bob’s photographs here: Bob Denton’s photos of Martin Doyle – February, 2011 »

Martin Doyle Features On Slowcoast

Nick Hand with his trusty cycle.

Nick Hand with his trusty cycle.

A leisurely bicycle tour around the coasts of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland – what better way to see the sights, get a feel for the land and meet the locals! Many have done it but Bristolian Nick Hand has taken the process a couple of steps further. He is interviewing and photographing inspiring people that he meets during his travels and creating soundslides which he posts on his aptly named website, Slowcoast.

In his own words Nick is “…talking to the artisans that I meet, people who have a passion and have developed and honed a skill.” The result is a very inspiring library of soundslides that cover a wide range of people, lifestyles and landscapes. During his travels Nick is also raising money for the Parkinson’s Disease Society through sponsorship.

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