The particular flute that Shardul is playing is a three keyed D-flat flute made from African Blackwood that was in fact originally made for Sri Chinmoy. It was commissioned by Maral Siegel of New York who is also a student of Sri Chinmoy, and was presented to Sri Chinmoy at the Royal Albert Hall in London by Martin himself after the Master’s peace concert there in 2003 at a post concert function. Unfortunately an injury to one of Sri Chinmoy’s hands prevented him from playing the flute for very long and it was returned to Maral who eventually gave it to Shardul as a gift a couple of years later.
Since that time, Shardul has played Sri Chinmoy’s music in a wide variety of public spaces including hospitals. Encouraged by Sri Chinmoy who once told him that soulful, meditative music would help to alleviate humanity’s sufferings, Shardul has played regularly in hospitals in Auckland and Christchurch – particularly in the large ten floor glass topped atrium in the central Auckland hospital where some of the documentary footage was shot.
We hope you enjoy the video clip and we would also like to offer everyone our best wishes for the New Year. May your hopes and dreams bear fruit and bring you joy, peace and fulfilment in 2017. Kind regards from Martin Doyle and his team.
The photo below is of Ellen O’Brien – a young flute player from County Cavan – playing a Martin Doyle flute at the Life of Reilly Festival in August 2013. Ellen played a selection of tunes at Flute Wednesday segment of the festival with Matt Molloy, Órlaith McAuliffe, Laurence Nugent and many others.
Ellen loves her Martin Doyle flute and feels that the tone of the flute is brilliant. She won the Ulster Flute Under 12 competition for dance tunes and slow airs, and then went on to the All-Ireland competitions and really enjoyed the whole experience.
Teen traditional musician Seamus Tierney won three titles at the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil finals at Derry in August, 2013 – two of them playing a Martin Doyle flute. Seamus, who hails from Lavey in County Derry, took first prize in the Flute 15-18 category and third prize in the Flute Slow Airs 15-18 category. He also collected first prize in the Tin Whistle 15-18 category.
Kathlyn Sheehy is a young flute player who plays a Martin Doyle flute and won the 2012 All-Ireland Under-12 Flute Fleadh Cheoil competition in Cavan and placed second in the 2013 All-Ireland Under-12 Flute competition in Derry.
Our heartiest congratulations to Kathlyn – well done you!
Kathlyn Sheehy sporting a well earned All-Ireland trophy and her Martin Doyle flute.
Here is Martin Doyle‘s video pick for October 2012 – the Grammy Award winning flute player, Rhonda Larson performing the hymn Be Still My Soul. (Note Rhonda’s harmonic singing while playing the flute in the opening moments of the performance.)
About Rhonda Larson
Rhonda Larson says she was born wanting to play the flute – where that desire came from remains a mystery to her. It was finally at age 10 that Rhonda first picked up a flute, a journey that has taken her to the farthest reaches of the world. Her ‘practice room’ was a high mountain ridge outside her family home in Bozeman, Montana, where the sky is endless and the breathtaking mountains cut through your soul. It is not difficult, then, to understand that the depths of Rhonda’s music comes from a place in her heart that celebrates the beauty of the human spirit, found most alive in nature. “I began to see that music has a larger role for humanity: that it can truly speak to the shared expressions of our human souls.”
Read more: Larson’s Story-Form Biography »
A very fine quote from Rhonda’s homepage:
“The dignity of the artist lies in their duty of keeping awake the sense of wonder in the world.”
– G.K. Chesterton.
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
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 »
Ludwig von Beethoven and Elizabeth Petcu – hearing lose a challenge, but not an impairment.
And what of the Elizabeth Petcu / Ludwig von Beethoven connection? Well, there appear to be common threads running through both lives. Sure they don’t share the same age, address, flute maker or historical gravitas, but they do share a passion for music – the universal language. Ludwig composed his own music of course, and Elizabeth has performed many of these creations over the span of her professional career.
They also share a similar adversity. Elizabeth Petcu suffers from a condition known as otosclerosis, which is the most common cause of progressive deafness in young adults. Some consider otosclerosis to be the most likely cause of Beethoven’s deafness. Whatever the case, it is well documented that Beethoven went on composing despite near complete deafness. In Elizabeth’s case too, when her hearing impediment forced her into retirement from the RTE, she has kept up with her practice and performs wherever she can with an enduring energy, cheerfulness and enthusiasm that is fuelled by a great love for sharing her gift of music with others. Composers must compose, performers must perform. Audiences, large or small, receive the fruit of this wonderful synthesis.
Tomás MacUileagóid, a flute player, fiddler and harp maker from Dublin, Ireland, has kindly sent Martin Doyle a testimonial which has been added to Martin’s website. Tomás recently purchased a keyed flute from Martin Doyle.
I have thought a lot about writing to you since I got my keyed flute from you. I wanted to really feel my way into it and explore what it has to offer. I am astounded by the range of colour available, just waiting for me to exploit it. The tones available far exceed what I could get on the flute I got off you 10 years ago. I wanted the keys because I have a particular interest in the music of east Galway, Paddy Kelly and Paddy Fahey in particular, and you can’t really manage that without the F natural. Obviously since I have a keyed flute I notice other flutes much more, and I am continuously impressed by your standard of craftsmanship, and I understand how difficult it is to maintain such a high standard. Well done!! I don’t know what motivates you as an instrument maker, but I enjoy being able to create something that is unique with its own voice, that will hopefully live long after me and in some small way contribute to making the world a better place. I think you have already achieved this. Thank you.
Very thoughtful and insightful words from a fellow instrument maker — thank you for your kind and encouraging comments Tomás.
Testimonials from flute players all over the world can be viewed here: Testimonials »