Martin Doyle, Sri Chinmoy and the Royal Albert Hall

Martin Doyle has not performed at the Royal Albert Hall, but he has been on the stage. So have his flutes…

Martin Doyle presents Sri Chinmoy with a new fluteIn 2005, Sri Chinmoy offered a concert dedicated to global harmony at the Royal Albert Hall in London and Martin Doyle went to see the Master perform. One of Sri Chinmoy’s students from New York had commissioned Martin to make a flute for Sri Chinmoy and he was invited to stay behind for a private post-concert function and an opportunity to present the instrument to Sri Chinmoy personally. It was a special D flat keyed flute made of African Blackwood.

After the concert Sri Chinmoy remained on the stage while his students – several hundred in number that had come from all over the world to be at the concert – were seated in the auditorium. Martin assembled and presented the new flute to Sri Chinmoy and the Master played it for a while. He was very pleased to meet Martin and very grateful to him for the care and effort that went into creating the one-off flute. For his part, Martin was very honoured to have met Sri Chinmoy in such a way and commented that it was a unique moment in his life.

Sri Chinmoy plays the new Martin Doyle flute
Martin Doyle watches as Sri Chinmoy tries the new flute.

The second event connecting Martin Doyle with the Royal Albert Hall was also a concert but not one that he personally attended. Two of his flutes were present though.

Boris Purushottama GrebenshikovOn May the 19th Boris Purushottama Grebenshikov returned to the Royal Albert Hall with with a large number of musicians from a wide variety of musical backgrounds. The concert was dedicated to Sri Chinmoy, who passed away in October of 2007.

In a prolific career that has spanned almost four decades, BG (Boris Grebenshikov) has continued to enchant his audiences with new sounds and a lyrical language that has earned him the affectionate title “Poet Laureate of Russia”.

Accompanied by an international ensemble of musicians performing on instruments from the sitar and tabla to the violin and flute, he presents a fusion of his own classic folk melodies with sounds from around the world.

“Music is an ocean. I just venture into the ocean and follow the waves.”
– Boris Purushottama Grebenshikov.

Two of the guest musicians who performed with Boris Purushottama Grebenshikov on the 19th were Premik Russell Tubbs and Brian Finnegan – both flute players and owners of Martin Doyle flutes.

Premik Russell TubbsPremik is a flutist, saxophonist, composer, arranger and producer. He has been Sri Chinmoy’s meditation student since the 1970s and his music reflects great depth of talent and a clear spiritual perspective. An album Premik produced with his good friend Shambhu Vineberg can be heard here: Equinox.

[Premik] has worked with Carlos Santana, Whitney Houston, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Narada Michael Walden, and Lonnie Liston-Smith among others. He is equally at home in popular, jazz, R&B, new age and experimental styles. His composing credits also include music for sports documentaries, sketch comedies and corporate training films. (Source)

Brian FinneganBrian Finnegan is a UK based whistle and flute player from Armagh, Northern Ireland who currently plays with Flook, founded the band Upstairs in a Tent, and has also released a solo album entitled When the Party’s Over.

“[Brian Finnegan] stands out, in a nation of wonderful flute players, as much more than a technical virtuoso, his playing having the freewheeling lightness of touch and inspired musical understanding that flows into improvisation in real time, at reel speed.” – Norman Chalmers, The List. (Source)

There was a strong Irish influence in the concert. John-Joe Kelly, a Bodhrán player and also a member of Flook, was present among the musicians on stage that night – as was one of the world’s very few female Uilleann pipers, Becky Taylor.

By all accounts, Boris Purushottama Grebenshikov’s concert offered something for everyone – including flute maker Martin Doyle. His relationship with the Royal Albert and some of the musicians that have performed there has taken shape through his carefully hand-crafted wooden flutes – in the mould of the often silent role played by the instrument makers of this world.

Stage View
Boris Purushottama Grebenshikov returns to the Royal Albert Hall

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2 Comments »

  1. [...] Entry at Martin Doyle’s blog [...]

  2. [...] was still living in County Wicklow. Shardul was looking for a flute for his meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy and arrived at Martin’s workshop in Bray. For a period spanning four or five years after [...]

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