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.
Asides from making great flutes and music, one of Martin Doyle‘s favourite pastimes is photography. Currently a little house-bound and in the arduous process of recovering from open-heart surgery, Martin has had regular visits from well-wishers and friends who come to offer their goodwill and encouragement. So what better way to celebrate a visit from great friends than to photograph them. Here is the result of one such a moment …
Christy Barry and Ronan Browne – photo taken by Martin Doyle.
A lovely moment between two good soul’s frozen in time by the click of the photographer’s shutter. Here are Martin’s comments regarding this portrait …
I am very proud to have got this picture, its probably one of the best I have ever taken. I would like to say this was a very special day in my recovery, to be in the company of two old friends who are great and authentic Gentlemen.
Martin Doyle has just received some happy news from a young flute player who has been competing at this years Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann (All Ireland Festival of Music) in Drogheda, County Louth. Conan Whitley sent Martin a message to say that he had just won the Under 18 Slow Air Flute Competition at the fleadh and he sent a photo of himself with the first place trophy in one hand and his Martin Doyle flute in the other.
Conan Whitley holding the Under 18 Slow Air Flute Competition first place trophy and his Martin Doyle flute.
The All Ireland competitions are loaded with talented young musicians, the best of the best one could say, and to win first place in any category requires great effort, focus and dedication. Our heartiest congratulations go to Conan and his family!
As our huge posse of true believers already fully know, most if not all of our posts are really, really serious – really! But this one is just for a wee chuckle, a throw away article as it were, and will certainly appeal to those among the thousands of people who pour through our really, really serious in-depth articles each day who are musicians. Are you with us so far – or still? Good, we shall continue then …
Our good and dear and recently one-year-older friend Ronan Browne, sent us a humorous little piece of cartoonery that has probably been floating around on the internet for centuries, but because we have never seen it before, to us it is completely new and well worth sharing. Perhaps Ronan thought that the boss needed a laugh after his recent really, really serious surgery, which is very kind of Ronan. I mean, a week after major controlled-death surgery, who wouldn’t want a good side-splitting laugh, right? Right!
In a previous post, we gave notice that Martin Doyle was going to be unavailable for a few weeks due to having to go to hospital for an operation. Martin has now had that operation (August 07, 2018) and it was a biggie – a quadruple bypass open heart surgery.
We are happy to announce that the operation went very well and Martin is now in recovery mode. What is remarkable is the rate of his recovery – something that the nursing staff have been commenting on quite a bit. He was in CVICU for 24 hours and within a few short hours of being sent from there to the recovery ward, Martin’s daughter Aoife recorded the following short video of Martin sitting up in his hospital bed playing a tune on his whistle! His comment, “It was good to play the whistle as the music is so healing.”
It just goes to show that you can’t keep a good man down!
We will post another update as time passes. Thanks to everyone for their prayers and messages of goodwill for Martin’s wellbeing. This heartfelt support has been really helpful and is much appreciated by Martin, his family and close friends.
The Doyle/Browne friendship goes back many years and they have always supported and encouraged each others endeavours. We have no idea what age Ronan is, but he seems at once ancient and ever youthful – a reflection of the man’s timeless soul perhaps, and his ever present sense of humour.
For the two or three people in the audience who don’t know him, Ronan Browne is an Irish musician and composer whose primary instrument is the uilleann pipes. He also sings and plays a raft of instruments including flutes. A lot can be gleaned about musicians from the music that they create. Have a listen to the following piece, entitled Critical Mass, that Ronan produced some years back …
And here’s a video clip of Ronan performing with Martin Doyle and others at a traditional music day during the 2008 Drogheda Arts Festival …
Thank you Ronan – your life and activities add a lovely hue to this world.
Martin Doyle will be unavailable for a few weeks from Sunday August 05 as he is going to hospital for an operation. Apologies for any inconvenience.
Sunday August 05 also happens to be Martin’s birthday – he has seen 67 summers and looks 50! Happy birthday and congratulations Martin! Thank you for the many good and great qualities that you offer to the world through what you do and who you are.
“When people play music, they offer people flowers. When people make flutes, they offer people seeds.” – Martin Doyle.
And what’s a birthday without some music? The following tune is called ‘King Of The Blind’ – a Turlough O’Carolan composition that featured in Nicholas Carolan’s facsimile edition of John & William Neal, A Collection of the Most Celebrated Irish Tunes proper for the violin, German flute or hautboy that was first published in 1724. For this piece Martin Doyle is playing one of his own baroque flutes.
For more samples of musicians playing Martin Doyle’s flutes, kindly visit this page: Flute Music »
Here is a lovely rendition of King of the Blind played on harp by Ann Heymann – the instrument that Turlough O’Carolan played during his lifetime.