First flute made of FSC certified African Blackwood

Fresh felled African Blackwood log

Fresh felled African Blackwood log

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 nearly 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. A brochure produced by Klicksi Limited, a supplier of FSC Certified Blackwood, can be downloaded here.

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 firsthand 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 the first Martin Doyle flute made from FSC certified African Blackwood

The end result of a lot of hard work that began in east Africa and ended in Ireland: Joe Doyle playing the first Martin Doyle flute made from FSC certified African Blackwood

Martin was also interviewed regarding the flutes he is making using FSC certified Blackwood by Peter Browne of Ireland’s RTÉ Radio 1. That interview featured on Peter’s The Rolling Wave programme and can be downloaded here and listened to on Real Player.

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.

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