Category Archives: Recently Added

Baroque Flutes by Martin Doyle

A new page presenting information regarding the wooden Baroque flutes made by Martin Doyle has recently been added to his website.

Martin Doyle completed his first set of Baroque flutes early in 2000. Originally working with African Blackwood, he modelled his Baroque flute design on an eighteenth century Rottenburgh Baroque flute. Martin has also made Baroque flutes from Boxwood, three of which feature below.

Three Martin Doyle Baroque flutes made from Boxwood.

Three Martin Doyle Baroque flutes made from Boxwood.

More details can be viewed here: Baroque Flutes »

Introducing The Aiki Céilí Band

Double bass (Frank Healy) and flute (Martin Doyle) in action.

Double bass (Frank Healy) and flute (Martin Doyle) in action.

As recently posted on this weblog, Martin Doyle featured on a radio programme called The Music Tree. As the The Music Tree is about the Mpingo (African Blackwood) tree and its popular timber that is used extensively for the production of woodwind instruments, one of the requirements for the programme was some Irish traditional music that was predominated by the Irish flute. This task fell upon Martin Doyle to organise.

Asides from making great Irish flutes, Martin is also an Aikido instructor who offers classes at the town hall in Liscannor, County Clare – the Aikido group is known as Clare Aikikai. One of the many wonderful aspects of the County Clare is that music is an integral part of the culture there – musicians, singers and story tellers abound in Clare as they do all over the west of Ireland. And so it is with Martin’s Aikido group. Four of the members are strong traditional musicians so Martin got them together after an Aikido session one evening and they recorded a very nice piece of traditional music – and The Aiki Céilí Band was born!

The Aiki Céilí Band consists of Martin Doyle (flute), Éamon McCarthy (flute), Frank Healy (double bass) and Gabrielle Cappachione (guitar). Featured on The Music Tree documentary, the piece consists of two reels and can also be listened to here: The Aiki Céilí Band – Flute Music »

Irish Translation Added

Diarmuid Breathnach

Diarmuid Breathnach.

Recently added to Martin Doyle Flutes is a translation of the About Martin Doyle page. It has kindly been translated into Gaeilge (Irish language) by Irish biographer and encyclopaedist Diarmuid Breathnach of Bray in County Wicklow, whom Martin Doyle has known for many years.

Born in 1930, Diarmuid was educated at University College Dublin and became a librarian in Kilkenny, then a sound archivist and chief librarian at RTÉ from 1974 to 1986. His major achievement is the compilation, with Máire Ní Mhurchú, of Beathaisnéis, a multi-volume dictionary of modern Gaelic culture. On May 17, 2002, the National University of Ireland conferred honorary degrees – The Degree of Doctor of Celtic Studies – upon Diarmuid Breathnach and Máire Ní Mhurchú at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

Our heart-felt gratitude to Diarmuid Breathnach for his kind efforts and abundant patience – he is indeed a grand gentleman! The new page can be viewed here: Sceal Máirtín Ó Dubhghaill »

New Testimonial Added

Martin Doyle has just received a very nice testimonial from Paul MaCarthy – a self professed ‘flute player for the fun of it’ – who hails from Clonmel in County Tipperary. Paul’s kind comments are as follows:

Paul McCarthy

Paul McCarthy with his Martin Doyle flute.

“Having played other flutes (mainly African Blackwood with headliner) and been dissatisfied with their somewhat capricious nature, I started searching for an instrument which did not have these flaws. After scratching around the country on and off for months and visiting several well respected flute makers, I failed to find what I was looking for. Maybe it was me and not the flutes but I found them very unacceptably fickle.

Eventually in the autumn of 2005 I found myself in a snug workshop in Bray talking with a very relaxed and affable flute maker who invited me to sit into the corner and try any flute I could find. There were several on a rack on the table next to me so I started with the one closest to me and worked my way along about 7 or 8 of them. Being of a methodical nature, I played the same tune (a slip jig called A Fig For A Kiss) on each of them to better judge their performance. All were sweet toned, balanced and uncapricious. Then my eye lit on it. A nice looking Cocuswood, unkeyed, unlined flute at the end of the rack. The feeling I got on playing those first few notes I can still recall. Absolutely gorgeous tone, weight and balance, not a hint of fickleness and with that lovely soft, mellow reverberation which comes with good tone. Low D? No problem. Another fifteen minutes playing passed interspersed with question and answers with Martin. The decision to buy this particular flute was not made by me nor by Martin but by the flute. This thing of beauty is of the rare sort and gives massive enjoyment.
Thanks are not enough Martin Doyle!”

Thank you Paul – your kind words are great encouragement!

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

Just Added: A Flute Maker/Player Dyad

Martin Doyle, Desi Wilkinson and Elizabeth Petcu

Martin Doyle (flute maker), Desi Wilkinson (flute player) and Elizabeth Petcu (essayist).

In 2002, as the final semester essay undertaken to gain her Masters Degree in Music, Martin Doyle’s good friend Elizabeth Petcu wrote ‘A Phenomenological Study into the Experiences of a Flute Maker/Player Dyad’. With her kind permission, this essay has been reproduced on Martin Doyle Flutes.

This phenomenological study is an interesting and illumining insight into the relationship between a flute maker, Martin Doyle, and a flute player – in this case the renowned Irish traditional musician and music scholar, Desi Wilkinson.

The following are excerpts from Elizabeth’s essay.

From the introduction:

Discovering a flute maker’s workshop in my local town a few years ago enabled me to combine my lifelong fascination for woodwork and wood turning with my love of flutes and flute playing. Under the allure of the atmosphere in the workshop and listening to the philosophising of the maker, caused me to be curious about the “ingredients” contained in the instruments. I wondered if the experiences of the maker, as he worked, could be converted into a more tangible form. The phenomenological approach, also recently discovered, suggested itself as being a possible way to reveal the powerful, unspoken psychological processes and energies which I could palpably feel in the workshop.

Continue reading

New Testimonial For Martin Doyle Flutes

Website Updates

Martin Doyle has just received a very kind testimonial from John Wood of London, England. John has recently purchased a keyless Martin Doyle flute made of African Blackwood (without a tuning slide) from All Flutes Plus and had this to say about his purchase:

“[…] I bought a keyless (no tuning slide) Traditional Blackwood flute at All Flutes Plus just three days ago and I cannot believe that I can finally play the Irish flute… (well starting to anyway). I have been playing the Uilleann Pipes and whistle and a wooden Boehm-system flute for years, but every time I would try the ‘Irish flute‘ I would hide it back in the sock drawer after half an hour and there it would stay for another 3 or 4 months. Every time I tried it I would end up exhausted and irritated beyond words… Why could I not sound like everyone else I heard playing this *&^%$^ thing. Now I pick up your flute and everyday it is playing easier, sweeter, stronger! Amazing! There are so many choices out there but believe me, I made the right choice when I bought a Martin Doyle flute.”

Many thanks to John Wood for his kind and encouraging words.

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

Three Testimonials Added

Website Updates

Three new testimonials have recently been added to Martin Doyle’s website. The first two are from flute players in Japan who are involved in the Irish traditional music scene there. writes:

“I am very pleased with the two flutes Martin! I played the D flute for the set dancing with my friends last Saturday evening. I was pleasantly surprised at the excellent responses and the great capacity of the tone colours. For me, these flutes are saikou — the best!” – Yusuke Usuda.

Bridget and Paddy Moriyasu.

Bridget and Paddy Moriyasu.

The second testimonial is from Isao ‘Paddy’ Moriyasu who, with his wife Masako, aka ‘Bridgit’, spend time in County Clare each year and have made two CDs of Irish traditional music. Paddy has this to say about his Martin Doyle flute:

“Martin is a great friend of mine. He’s not only an excellent flute maker but also (believe it or not) a master of the Japanese martial art of Aikido!! He regularly visits Japan for intensive Aikido training. I started working on a recording project called ‘The Complete Works of Turlough O’Carolan in 2007 — 7 CDs in all and have already finished recording 3 of them so far. I’ve decided to use Martin’s D and C flutes for the recording as his instruments always give me loads of inspiration and freedom. With his lovely flutes, I can explore a whole new world of Carolan music. Thanks Martin!! Looking forward to playing some tunes with you in Tokyo.”

The third testimonial is from David Thompson who is and member of The Belfast and District Set Dancing and Traditional Music Society from Bangor, Northern Ireland.

“The Celtic style flute without tuning slide is the most satisfying flute I’ve ever played. It has a crisp and full low register, and the low D really honks! I love the simplicity of this flutes appearance, yet the tone I can get out of it is truly awe inspiring and it’s always in tune. This is ‘flute minimalism’ at it’s finest!”

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