Whilst 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!
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.
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.
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!
Edel Vaughan performing on tour with the Kilfenora Céilí Band. Photo by Martin Connolly
A little about Edel Vaughan …
Edel Vaughan is a native of the County Clare who has been playing music and participating in traditional and sean nós singing from an early age. She has won six All Ireland titles and has travelled the world with the renowned Brú Ború group. Edel has also travelled and worked with the dance show Ragús and has had the honour of being a member of the prestigious Clare Memory Orchestra for a specially commissioned millennium suite commemorating the death of Brian Ború in 1014 AD. Edel is also no stranger to the camera having performed on many television series including Abair Amhrán, Fleadh TV and Geantraí.
Currently touring with the renowned Kilfenora Céilí Band, Edel also teaches Irish and history at St. Flannans College in Ennis and traditional singing in many Comhaltas branches throughout Ireland. Edel released her debut album Spreagtha (Inspired) in April 2016 – here is a sample featuring several songs from the album.
Martin Doyle‘s good friend Shardul has recently been featured in a short documentary produced by Nelson Myers-Daly of Monk Party. Shardul, who teaches meditation in New Zealand, has been playing Martin Doyle flutes since 2000 and is a student the spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy who Martin has also made flutes for over the years. Shardul specialises in playing Sri Chinmoy’s meditative music and plays a few pieces in various settings during the documentary.
The particular flute that Shardul is playing is a three keyed D-flat flute made from African Blackwood that was in fact originally made for Sri Chinmoy. It was commissioned by Maral Siegel of New York who is also a student of Sri Chinmoy, and was presented to Sri Chinmoy at the Royal Albert Hall in London by Martin himself after the Master’s peace concert there in 2003 at a post concert function. Unfortunately an injury to one of Sri Chinmoy’s hands prevented him from playing the flute for very long and it was returned to Maral who eventually gave it to Shardul as a gift a couple of years later.
Since that time, Shardul has played Sri Chinmoy’s music in a wide variety of public spaces including hospitals. Encouraged by Sri Chinmoy who once told him that soulful, meditative music would help to alleviate humanity’s sufferings, Shardul has played regularly in hospitals in Auckland and Christchurch – particularly in the large ten floor glass topped atrium in the central Auckland hospital where some of the documentary footage was shot.
We hope you enjoy the video clip and we would also like to offer everyone our best wishes for the New Year. May your hopes and dreams bear fruit and bring you joy, peace and fulfilment in 2017. Kind regards from Martin Doyle and his team.