Tag Archives: musician

Martin Doyle’s Role In Becoming Jane

If you read the previous post, you will be aware that Martin Doyle spent a couple of weeks visiting friends (and making more) in Christchurch, New Zealand, over the 2014 Christmas period. On arrival Martin was quite ill with a heavy cold that he had caught in Clare the day before he left, which incubated very nicely during the 36 hours of air travel he had to endure to reach the far side of the world.

It is a matter of fact that bugs also like to travel and so it came to pass that Martin’s Kiwi friend and host Shardul caught a downgraded, second-hand, left-over version of the vicious and virulent virus. Life went on like this for a few short (and sometimes long) days and while the two were in convalescence mode one night, it was decided that a good movie would help clear the head-fog. The conversation revolving around which movie to watch went something like this…

Shardul: “Hey Martin, can you recommend a movie? I think we need to zone out for an hour or two.”

Martin: “Have a look at Becoming Jane.”

S: “Never heard of it. Is it any good?”

M: “Of course it’s good – I’m in it!

S: “You’re in a movie?!?

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Irish Music On A Summers Day In Japan

This sweet reel, The Two William Davises, is being performed by a group of friends on a fine summers day in Japan. The flute player is Yumi Takahashi who, when the video clip was recorded, had been playing her new Martin Doyle flute for just over two weeks. Yumi also plays tin whistle. Enjoy the music…

Kind Comments From Garry Shannon

Martin Doyle has just received a very kind testimonial from the renowned left-handed flute player Garry Shannon after Martin finished a keyed flute for him. These are Garry’s words:

“Martin is an affable craftsman in whose workshop time means nothing. He will generously spend hours discussing his craft. Despite his laid-back manner, he will not leave you waiting years for your new instrument. I have been recommending Martin Doyle flutes to my students for many years due to their tonality, volume and after-sales service. Last year, I finally took the plunge myself and put aside my beloved flute of twenty years for a new custom-made Doyle model and I have never looked back.”

More kind comments from flute players all over the world can be viewed here: Testimonials »

About Garry Shannon

Irish flute player Garry Shannon

Irish flute player Garry Shannon

Garry Shannon is the eldest of a celebrated County Clare family of musicians which includes Sharon Shannon (accordion) and Mary Shannon (banjo).

Garry won the senior All-Ireland flute title in 1988 and has since played with a number of respected groups. He is a member of the legendary Kilfenora Ceili Band which is based in Kilfenora, County Clare, has recorded three solo albums, teaches flute extensively and is co-ordinator of the Irish music residential summer school Meitheal.
Read more: Profile – Garry Shannon »

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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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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Eimear McGeown Playing A Martin Doyle Flute

Eimear McGeown – classical and Irish flute.

Eimear McGeown – classical and Irish flute

We are very proud and grateful to be able to feature two tracks on Martin Doyle Flutes by the accomplished flute player Eimear McGeown. A native of County Armagh in Northern Ireland, Eimear plays both classical and Irish flutes.

This from Eimear’s website:

The Irish culture and tradition has played a major influence in Eimear’s life, starting Irish dancing at the age of three and going on to become a Northern Ireland Champion dancer. Eimear began playing whistle at the age of nine and progressed to the traditional Irish flute a year later having lessons with Sligo born flautist, Séamus Tansey.

Eimear was the Ulster Champion on the whistle when she was eleven years old and later went on to win two All Ireland Champion titles on the Irish flute both as soloist and in a trio with her brother and sister. She performs on the traditional Irish flute regularly including recitals, in the West End Show Lord of the Rings, with folk/rock band Amsterdam, session studio work in London and is currently recording a solo Celtic Crossover album.

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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 »

Irish Tunes On A Martin Doyle Flute

Here is a video clip of Irish musician Ciarán Mac Fheidhlimidh playing Irish traditional music on a Martin Doyle flute. Unfortunately we do not get to see Ciarán playing; rather it is an audio clip played under a still photo of a flute that not a Doyle. The tunes that Ciarán is playing in this flute video are The Bag Of Spuds and The Boys On The Hilltop – both reels. Martin Doyle was quite taken with Ciarán’s flute playing and we hope you enjoy it as well.

More video clips of musicians playing Martin Doyle flutes can be viewed here: Video Clips »

Ciarán is also an accomplished piper and here’s an example:

Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh Testimonial

Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh playing fulte.

Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh playing fulte.

Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh is an accomplished flute and whistle player and singer from Dún Chaoin in County Kerry, Ireland. She is the lead singer and flute player with the traditional Irish music group Danú, and is a tutor at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick.

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.”

Muireann’s music sample can be heard here: Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh – Flute Music »

More testimonials from flute players all over the world can be viewed here: Testimonials »

Introducing Gwenn Frin

Gwenn Frin

Gwenn Frin

Gwenn Frin is a wooden flute player who has been assisting Martin Doyle for the past few months and learning about the art of flute making. Originally from Brittany in France, a cultural region that has historic ties to the Celts and also has a very strong culture of folk music, Gwenn fell in love with the simple system wooden flute (also known as Irish flute) at an early age. The instrument has been an major part of her life ever since and has brought her to many countries around the world including Ireland, Korea and the United States.

Gwenn first performed with the Cercle Celtique de Rennes (who are coming to Cork in July of this year) where she was introduced to the traditional music and dances of Brittany before playing for the dancers themselves. Her true professional debut were with the band Beaj Iskis in the early 1990s, which toured the Fest Noz scene in Brittany for four years. Gwenn moved to Galway, Ireland in 1998, drawn to the roots of her passion, and took classes with renowned flute player Harry Bradley.

Gwenn Frin working at the lathe.

Gwenn Frin working at the lathe.

In 1999, Gwenn moved to Dublin to concentrate solely on her flute playing while completing a Higher National Diploma In Traditional Music performance (Ceoltóir) directed by flute player Paul McGrattan. This last experience led her to doing a Master’s degree in Music and Media Technologies in Trinity College, Dublin. These amazing two years transformed her musical understanding and experience and opened up her musical horizons not only to contemporary and electroacoustic music, but also to composition.

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