Tag Archives: Ronan Browne

Martin Doyle Interviewed on The West Wind

The Willie Clancy Summer School

The Willie Clancy Summer School, Milltown Malbay, County Clare, Ireland.

July in Ireland means many things to many people, no doubt. It’s mid-summer for one thing and the sun brings welcome warmth to the land, so there must be some joy in most hearts. For the Irish traditional music fraternity though, July means only one thing: the annual Willie Clancy Summer School which is held in Milltown Malbay, County Clare.

For a week or so each July, the small coastal town near Spanish Point is swamped with music teachers, students, aficionados and keen lovers of the great Irish music tradition for master classes, music sessions, concerts and all that comes with such activities. Milltown Malbay is synonymous with the famed Clare musician Willie Clancy (1918—1973) who was a great exponent of the uilleann pipes specifically and Irish traditional music in general.

July and the Willie Clancy also means a busy time for the local instrument makers like Martin Doyle. Being a flute maker of renowned, he also attracts a fair bit of attention during the Willie Clancy without even leaving his property near Liscannor. The path to his home and workshop is well trodden each July with requests for flute purchases, orders and repairs. Old friendships are renewed and new ones forged over a cup of tea, some chin-wag and and, no doubt, a tune or two.

Claire Keville

Musician, music teacher and broadcaster Claire Keville.

A local radio station, Clare FM, is one of the foremost promoters of traditional Irish music broadcasting in Ireland today. They have a popular programme called The West Wind which has been interviewing all sorts of people who are involved in the Willy Clancy week. Musician, music teacher and broadcaster Claire Keville was live on The Clare FM Cruiser in Milltown Malbay on July the 4th where she interviewed Martin Doyle and his good friend Ronan Browne who is a renowned piper from Conamara in County Galway.

The two friends feature at the beginning of Claire’s set of interviews for that day. They talk about Martin’s flute making, and Martin and Ronan play a couple of tunes together on their Martin Doyle flutes. Well worth a listen, as is the rest of the programme. Click the play button below to hear the show …

November 2016 Music Picks

To celebrate the Irish mid-autumn, we feature two video clips that have recently captured Martin Doyle‘s ear. The first is a video of Barbara Maria Willi (harpsichord) and Jana Semerádová (flute) performing a JS Bach Andante composition. Martin is a big fan of Jana’s flute playing and was very pleased to met her at the 20th Sligo Festival of Baroque Music in September, 2015.

The second is a video clip of the legendary Ronan Browne playing Uilleann Pipes. Martin and Ronan enjoy a friendship that goes back many years and they also share a mutual appreciation for each other as musicians. Martin recently commented that “Ronan’s music is as as honest as you’ll find”. Here’s Ronan’s latest video clip which was recorded in Annagh in the County Clare.

The full version of this video, which includes Ronan’s introduction in Gaeilge, can be viewed here: HUP MILLTOWN Ronan Browne »

Much thanks to Jana and Ronan for their efforts and integrity – it’s a privilege to hear this music.

The Pipes, The Pipes Are Calling

Here’s a couple of lovely video clips featuring two renowned Irish musicians playing the Uillean pipes. The first is a duet featuring our good friend Ronan Browne performing with Jimmy O’Brien Moran at the Morpeth Chantery Bagpipe Museum in Northumberland, England.
The second features Ronan Browne performing solo on his James Kenna pipes that date back to the 1780s. This clip was recorded in the Chapter House of St Mary’s Cathedral in Kilkenny, Ireland, and includes some explanation about the Kenna set in the context of the evolution of Uillean pipes. Hope you enjoy these wee treats …

Kind Words And Delightful Tunes

Included in recent additions to Martin Doyle Flutes is a very kind testimonial from Cathal McConnell and two delightful tunes from Ronan Browne.

Kind Words

Martin Doyle and Cathal McConnellThe following words are from the generous heart of Cathal McConnell:

“My friend, flute maker and flute player extraordinaire, Martin Doyle made my B-flat and C flutes, both of which are a complete joy to play! On a recent visit he also gave my ageing Rudall and Rose a much-needed and thorough overhaul. Its cork had been there 150 years!!! A heartfelt thank you Martin, for your craftsmanship as well as your kindness.”

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

Delightful Tunes

Ronan Bowne

The two tunes that Ronan Browne has offered, Planxty Irwin (jig) and Hector the Hero (waltz), that are both being played on a Martin Doyle D flute made of Cocus wood.

They can be heard here: Ronan Browne – Flute Music »

Ronan can also be seen playing tunes here: Video Clips »

Our gratitude to Ronan and Cathal for their generous contributions and kind support.

Róisín Dubh Performed By EAB

Róisín Elsafty (sean-nós singer), Siobhán Armstrong (harp) and Ronan Browne (Uilleann pipes, flute and whistle) perform together as Elsafty, Armstrong and Browne (EAB) and bring to life the unique sounds of early Irish music.

Elsafty, Armstrong and Browne

From left: Ronan Browne (Uilleann pipes), Siobhán Armstrong (harp) and Róisín Elsafty (sean-nós singer).

This trio presents the scintillating voice of one of Ireland’s finest Conamara singers, Róisín Elsafty together with the very rare and meltingly beautiful sound of the medieval Irish harp, played by Ireland’s foremost historical harper, Siobhán Armstrong, woven with the diverse colours of Ronan Browne’s flutes, whistles and 170-year-old pipes. From sparkling songs to harp laments and old pipes “pieces”, we are given a glimpse of the unique sound of early Ireland. Róisín performs evocative unaccompanied songs in the florid Conamara style, together with achingly beautiful 17th and 18th century Irish harpers’ songs with harp and flute accompaniment.

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The Life And Legacy Of Delia Murphy

All nations can mark key moments in their history when an event, entity or individual has made a crucial contribution to the development and character of their homeland. Most often these moments seem to spring during times of adversity but history also shows that they can occur during peaceful and prosperous times as well. Ireland is a nation that has seen it’s fair share of adversity throughout the centuries but the courage and fortitude of her people has helped to forge and maintain a very special character that shines in the world as something most unique.

As with most colonised nations, the retention and eventual rejuvenation of the native language and music is tremendously important to the internal strength of a country. Examples of individual and collective commitment to the rejuvenation of Irish culture are many and varied. Ireland boasts a plethora of ‘heroes’ who, through the ages, have in various ways kept her sacred music alive for future generations to protect and develop. As a result, the music of Ireland is loved the world over and has kept it’s homeland’s heart beating proudly through thick and thin. Like her native language, Ireland’s music has been the mortar that has bound Ireland’s hopes, tears, smiles and dreams into an amalgam of collective fortitude.

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Cran and Martin Doyle Flutes

Cran is an Irish traditional music group made up of three people who, as individuals, are very important figures in the contemporary Irish traditional music culture.

Cran live on stage. Ronan Browne (left), Desi Wilkinson (centre) and Seán Corcoran (right).

Cran live on stage. Ronan Browne (left), Desi Wilkinson (centre) and Seán Corcoran (right).

Ronan Browne (uilleann pipes, flutes, vocals) is widely regarded as one of the great virtuosos of the uilleann pipes, Ronan has carved out an international reputation both as concert performer and session musician. Ronan is the piper on the original recording of Riverdance and is also the original piper with the Afro Celt Sound System, appearing on their first two top-selling albums. Read more: About Ronan Browne »

Desi Wilkinson (flutes and vocals) is one of the leading exponents of the traditional Irish flute (“the timber flute”) and a fine singer, to boot. Originally from Belfast, he was inspired to get involved in Irish music through the playing of Fermanagh fiddler, Tom Gunn, a near neighbour. It was from Tom that he learned his first tunes. Read more: About Desi Wilkinson »

Seán Corcoran (bouzouki and lead vocals) has had a long career as a solo singer before founding Cran with Desi Wilkinson, and is internationally renowned as a skilful interpretor of songs from the Irish tradition, both in English and Gaelic. Read more: About Seán Corcoran »

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