Category Archives: Martin Doyle Flutes

40 Years of Flute Making!

2023 Marks the 40th Anniversary of Martin Doyle Flutes!

“I have been reminded that I am forty years making flutes this year. At times like this, it comes to mind that there is a large number of people to thank for their help along the way – a steady stream of friends, teachers and customers who have offered their ideas, inspiration and encouragement. I would like to mention them all but they are so numerous that it would be impossible. If I started now and wrote for a month, I would probably still leave some important people out.

So … I will settle for offering my gratitude to all those who have supported me down through the years and say that it has been an honour to be of service to the vast world of music and the harmony that it creates. Thank you all so much!” — Martin Doyle.

Some Comments from the Sidelines

I first met Martin Doyle in 2000 at his riverside workshop in Bray, County Wicklow. He was seventeen years into the process of producing good quality simple system wooden flutes back then and doing well. The story of his journey is wonderful – full of character and great characters. Twenty-three years later and we are celebrating Martin’s 40th anniversary in the noble art of flute making.

40 years is a long time to be doing anything – especially an activity like flute making. A very precise art, the making of flutes requires focused concentration for hours on end hunched over machinery, wearing magnified eye shields and working in the realm of fractions with material that can at times be hard on the nerves and the health. It is an artisan craft that requires vision, commitment and dedication.

There is also a great deal of responsibility as one is labouring to accomplish a good result for musicians – beings that can be quite pedantic in terms of what they seek in an instrument. As in all aspects of life, there are peaks and valleys but, from my observation, Martin seems to have enjoyed the view from the peaks more often than not.

Then there is the aspect of transcendence. How does one develop ones capacities in order to take a chosen craft beyond the limitations of what has been created previously? This is where I personally believe that Martin Doyle has excelled. As with the work of making a flute, transcendence is accomplished in fractions and occurs when diligence, research, intuition, passion and many other glowing qualities meet with and are moistened by the rains of love for the work, discipline, patience, humanity and, certainly in this case, love for music itself.

Martin is himself an accomplished musician and, as the years have passed, his flutes have always gradually improved in my view. Perhaps he is vicariously making flutes for that deep universal aspect of himself that exists in others – or is that to zen? Whatever the case may be, there seems to be an underlying aspiration for perfection in Martin’s journey as a flute maker and as a man on this earth. Perfection is, after all, a master that demands constant transcendence through self improvement.

Well Martin, fair play to you – forty years is no joke! I am sure that you have a few more years in you yet and some fortunate musicians out there will benefit from that. Personally I would like to thank you for your friendship and for having me along for the ride. I am honoured to have partaken in a little of life’s adventure with you! Your kindness and generosity of spirit are matters of my heart’s deepest joy and gratitude. MY HEARTIEST CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU!

~ Shardul.

If any who read this post would like to leave a comment for Martin, please do so below. Encouragement is a valued commodity. 🙂

Doyle flute features at All Ireland Fleadh

Molly PittendrighWhilst nothing at all can be taken from the effort that musicians put into performing in Fleadh Cheoil competitions, from a instrument maker’s point of view, there are sometimes moments of pride when they hear that their instruments are in the hands of the musicians that win or place. Kudos to the instrument players and kudos to the instrument makers!

This year a Martin Doyle flute was played by Molly Pittendrigh (above right) of County Mayo who won first place in the ’15-18 flute’ and third place in the ’15-18 flute slow air’ competitions at the 2022 Fleadh Cheoil at Mullingar in County Westmeath. Congratulations and well done Molly!

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A short video clip of Molly playing her Martin Doyle flute can be seen here:
Molly Pittendrigh – Video Clips | Martin Doyle Flutes »

Leonora Lyne Playing A B Flute

Leonora Lyne playing a Martin Doyle B flute

We have just posted a video and two audio samples of Irish flute player Leonora Lyne playing a Martin Doyle B flute. Martin does not construct B flutes very often – Leonora’s was only the second one – but they are completely of his own design and have great tone. Enjoy the music (links below) and many thanks to Leonora for sending the samples.

New Testimonial

Just added to Martin Doyle’s website, a very nice testimonial from flute player Eamonn Keane of Balla in the County Mayo.

Hi Martin,
You may remember that I travelled from Mayo just as the virus and lockdown were happening, and bought one of your two piece flutes. Meant to contact earlier and say thanks. It’s a delightful instrument – so much easier to play on than the other instrument I had.
Kind regards,
Eamonn.

To view more kind comments from flute players from Ireland and all over the world, kindly visit Martin Doyle’s testimonials page »

Michael Kenneally Video Clip

Just added to Martin Doyle’s website, a video recently created by Irish traditional musician Michael Kenneally. Michael is playing ‘The Emigrant’s Farewell’ on a Martin Doyle flute made from African Blackwood.

To see more musicians playing Martin Doyle flutes, kindly visit Martin Doyle’s Video Clips page »

Martin Doyle visits Dublin

Martin Doyle recently visited Gandharva Loka in Dublin to drop off a pair of flutes made from native New Zealand timbers – the last of the ‘KiwiCelt’ flute line that Martin has produced throughout the years. Here is a video clip of Martin playing the flute made of black maire wood in the Gandharva Loka store.

Ellen O’Brien Plays A Reel

In 2014 we featured Cavan flute player Ellen O’Brien after she had won the Ulster Flute Under 12 competition for dance tunes and slow airs playing a Martin Doyle Flute. Ellen then went on to win the All-Ireland competitions in her age group soon afterwards.

Four years later a video clip of Ellen playing the Tom Ennis reel The Morning Thrush was posted on Youtube. At the time Ellen was doing a work experience stint at the Celt Centre prior to the June 2018 County Fleadh Cheoil in Kilnaleck, County Cavan. Ellen is playing a keyed Martin Doyle Flute made of African Blackwood.

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