Martin Doyle Flutes has been enhanced with the addition of a Flute Information Quick-find panel to make important information more accessible. We have also made a few other minor modifications in other area of the homepage in order to enhance the experience that visitors have when visiting Martin’s website.
Gwenn Frin is a wooden flute player who has been assisting Martin Doyle for the past few months and learning about the art of flute making. Originally from Brittany in France, a cultural region that has historic ties to the Celts and also has a very strong culture of folk music, Gwenn fell in love with the simple system wooden flute (also known as Irish flute) at an early age. The instrument has been an major part of her life ever since and has brought her to many countries around the world including Ireland, Korea and the United States.
Gwenn first performed with the Cercle Celtique de Rennes (who are coming to Cork in July of this year) where she was introduced to the traditional music and dances of Brittany before playing for the dancers themselves. Her true professional debut were with the band Beaj Iskis in the early 1990s, which toured the Fest Noz scene in Brittany for four years. Gwenn moved to Galway, Ireland in 1998, drawn to the roots of her passion, and took classes with renowned flute player Harry Bradley.
Gwenn Frin working at the lathe.
In 1999, Gwenn moved to Dublin to concentrate solely on her flute playing while completing a Higher National Diploma In Traditional Music performance (Ceoltóir) directed by flute player Paul McGrattan. This last experience led her to doing a Master’s degree in Music and Media Technologies in Trinity College, Dublin. These amazing two years transformed her musical understanding and experience and opened up her musical horizons not only to contemporary and electroacoustic music, but also to composition.
Here I am in County Clare, Ireland, and staying with my friend Martin Doyle for a few days. I have brought Martin three sticks of Kanuka wood that were kindly given to me by Paul Whinray – a recorder maker who lives in West Auckland, New Zealand. The Kanuka wood was cut, bored and turned into round sticks by Paul in the late 1980s so it is well cured.
Martin set me to work on preparing the sticks and with the kind guidance of his son Ógi, and Martin doing all the critical work, we produced a wonderful flute. It has a lovely tone (milder than the hardwoods like African Blackwood and Cocus) that I am sure will develop nicely with playing. The end cap of the flute is made of Cocus wood. Here’s a look at it:
Martin Doyle Irish flute made from New Zealand kanuka wood – click the image to see a larger version.
Airtricity wind power certificate on the wall of Martin Doyle’s workshop.
Given today’s environmental issues that are increasingly being highlighted by global warming, Martin Doyle has always tried to be conscious of the use of power and timber in his work. As an instrument maker who uses timbers such as African Blackwood and Cocus for the flutes he makes, Martin has long supported The Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative – an NGO that aims to conserve endangered forests by promoting sustainable and socially equitable harvesting of African Blackwood (mpingo) and other valuable timber stocks.
To power his house and workshop, Martin has opted to use environmentally friendly electricity supplied by SSE Airtricity – a fully integrated renewable electricity utility specialising in the development and long term ownership of onshore and offshore wind farms. The Group currently has almost 400MW of generating capacity in operation across Ireland and Scotland, with a further 400MW in construction and to be operational this year.
Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into useful form, such as electricity, using wind turbines. In windmills, wind energy is directly used to crush grain or to pump water. At the end of 2007, worldwide capacity of wind-powered generators was 94.1 gigawatts. Although wind currently produces just over 1% of world-wide electricity use, it accounts for approximately 19% of electricity production in Denmark, 9% in Spain and Portugal, and 6% in Germany and the Republic of Ireland (2007 data). Globally, wind power generation increased more than fivefold between 2000 and 2007. Read more: Wind power »
Martin Doyle is proud to be making woodwind instruments using electricity generated from the power of the wind.