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!
Martin Doyle has for a number of years supported the sustainable use of African Blackwood (aka Grenadilla and Mpingo) – a unique tone wood that grows only in east Africa and has been used extensively by instrument makers throughout the world for over two centuries. He has recently produced his first flute made from African Blackwood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.
In the past, Martin has been involved in producing documentaries for radio which explore the use and conservation of African Blackwood. This included Sounding Post and The Music Tree which were both produced by Nina Perry of Falling Tree Productions. In 2009, in the process of making of The Music Tree, Martin travelled to Tanzania with Nina where he saw first hand the efforts being made to manage the sustainable replanting and harvesting of African Blackwood. The local people who live in and around the Mpingo forests are now involved in all phases of the procedure and are reaping their share in the profits as well – a welcome stimulation to their economy that raises the standard of living.
Joe Doyle playing Martin Doyle’s first flute made from FSC certified African Blackwood (Mpingo).
Martin was also interviewed regarding the flutes he is making using FSC certified Blackwood by Peter Browne of Ireland’s RTÉ Radio 1 and featured on Peter’s The Rolling Wave programme.
Joe Doyle (one of Martin Doyle’s two sons, pictured right) was recently visiting Martin for a few days at his home near Liscannor in County Clare. A talented musician himself, Joe had the chance to play the first of the new flutes made from FSC certified African Blackwood and a recording was made that can be heard here: The Green Fields of Rosbeigh by Joe Doyle – Flute Music »