The Day We Went To Sligo

September 26 this year saw Martin Doyle attend the 20th Sligo Festival of Baroque Music where he had been invited to have a instrument makers stall and offer a workshop on Baroque flute making.

Martin Doyle's stall at the 20th Sligo Festival of Baroque Music, September 2015

Martin Doyle’s stall at the 20th Sligo Festival of Baroque Music, September 2015

Reflecting on the event, Martin commented that he had a wonderful time, met some lovely people and attended some excellent workshops and recitals.

Recital at the 20th Sligo Festival of Baroque Music

Recital at the 20th Sligo Festival of Baroque Music

One of the people who really impressed Martin was the Czech flute player Jana Semerádová, whose Baroque flute master class and recitals Martin attended. Here is a video clip of Jana performing:

Jana’s playing brought forward the zen-like aspect of Martin’s persona and he fervently loosed forth the following paradoxical quote:

“When you hear a musician playing the flute, it becomes difficult to listen to the same being done by a flute player.” – Martin Doyle.

Martin was also very pleased to meet Colin Booth, the British harpsichordist and harpsichord maker. Here’s a video clip of Colin playing the harpsichord:

Martin was so impressed with the harpsichord that on returning home, he bought one! The sweet tones of the Baroque era now float across the green fields and narrow laneways around Rannagh in the County Clare.

Martin would like to thank the Sligo Festival of Baroque Music organisers for inviting him to the festival. He would also like to thank Vivian and Lizzy Kinsella and their daughters Charlotte and Isabella, whom he stayed with while in Sligo, for their kind and generous hospitality.

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A Poem for Nuala Níc Con Iomaire – by Biddy Jenkinson

Martin Doyle has a page on his website entitled In Praise of Wooden Flutes which presents a poem of the same name by Martin’s friend Biddy Jenkinson. Biddy, an Irish poet, short story writer and dramatist who writes in the Irish language, also sent Martin a poem that eulogises their mutual friend Nuala Níc Con Iomaire who passed away in July of 2010. That poem, Nuala, is reproduced below.

Nuala Níc Con Iomaire

Nuala Níc Con Iomaire – 2005


Duine ar dhuine chuir na ceoltóirí a gcuid uirlisí ina mboscaí.
D’imigh go leor don bhus deiridh.
Lean fuíoll an tseisiúin ag dordán is an halla ag éirí fuar.
D’imigh gach éinne ar deireadh, go siléigeach.
Ach níor fágadh cathaoir gan scáil air ná gloine gan cuimhne láimhe inti.
Bhí anam an cheoil fós ag suaitheadh an aeir nuair d’éirigh do ghlór go huaigneach.
Guth na muintire i sciúch an aoin.
Béal binn.
‘Dia leat, a stór!’

– Biddy Jenkinson.

Messages regarding Nuala’s life and passing can be viewed here »

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Martin Doyle To Attend Sligo Festival Of Baroque Music

The Model, SligoThe three day 20th Sligo Festival of Baroque Music commences on September the 25th and Martin Doyle has been invited by the festival’s organisers to attend as an artisan exhibiter and to offer a flute making workshop.

Martin has been making simple system Irish flutes since the early 1980s and his first batch of Baroque flutes were crafted in 2000. Modelling his Baroque flutes on an eighteenth century Rottenburgh flute design, Martin has made several batches since and generally uses either boxwood or African Blackwood.

Martin Doyle Baroque Flute made of Boxwood

Martin Doyle Baroque Flute made of Boxwood

The 20th Sligo Festival of Baroque Music is being held at The Model in Sligo and Martin Doyle’s Flute Maker Workshop begins at 11 am on Saturday September the 26th.

More information here: 2015 Programme of Events »

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Martin Doyle Flute Features in Karl Jenkins’ The Peacemakers


Premik Russell Tubbs

It is most probably a fact that most flute makers do not get to know much about what the flutes they have made get up to once they have left the workshop – but there can be moments of exception.

One such moment came Martin Doyle‘s way recently when he received a very encouraging and inspirational message from veteran musician Premik Russell Tubbs regarding an event that Premik was involved with in January of 2015. That message, in part, is as follows:

Hello Martin,

[…] If you remember, back in 2000, I became the proud owner of one of your [celtic style] African Blackwood flutes. I wanted to let you know that that lovely flute was heard last Monday night echoing throughout Carnegie Hall! I participated in a work by composer Karl Jenkins called “The Peacemakers“. It’s a wonderful piece which uses quotes by Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Mother Theresa and many others, which the composer weaves beautiful orchestrations and choral arrangements around. That night, I was the ethnic flute guy, playing Indian bansuri and Irish flute. It was a most special experience that I wanted to share with you.

Warm regards,

Very kind of Premik as we humans tend to thrive in an environment of encouragement no matter what our station in life. Here is a clip of Karl Jenkins talking about recording The Peacemakers.

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Recent Additions: New Testimonials And A Responsive Template


New Testimonials

Martin Doyle has recently received two very glowing and kind testimonials for his flute making efforts. The first testimonial is from Irish flute player Mike Kenneally of County Galway:

I love the flute, Martin. Maybe I should say what it is I like about it. Well, first of all it vibrates very freely without much effort of blowing. It is finely in tune with itself and the tone is rich and smooth. The keyed notes have a clarity and strength that I have not encountered before, and I think that ending the flute at the low D makes all the difference to that note. Another good point that I have noticed is that it is very easy to do breath vibrato on it. So all in all a job very well done. Congratulations. I can perhaps, appreciate more than most the work that went into making such a superior instrument, because I do a bit of woodturning myself.

The second testimonial is from German flute player Stefan Thamm of Freiburg:

Hi Martin,
Your flute arrived just an hour ago. I tried it just a few minutes, to play it in gently, and I have to say it is an awesome flute. I really love it!
I have been playing the Irish flute for just nine months now. First I had a pretty cheap instrument made from carbon fibre which was relatively easy to play, but the sound was not so good and some notes were out of tune. Then I got a wooden flute of a renowned flute maker. The sound was really good but, for me, it was difficult to play and needed a lot of air.
Now, after trying your flute, I’m pretty speechless – it’s a whole new experience of playing. I did read the testimonials on your website before ordering. Everybody was talking about the ‘ease of playing’ your flutes and I couldn’t really believe that the experience with a Martin Doyle flute would be so much of a difference compared to other flutes. But now I totally understand what they meant. I can not believe that playing the Irish flute could be that easy. All notes are perfect in tune, there’s really no effort to produce a great sound, even with very little air.
So THANK YOU SO MUCH for making such great instruments.

More testimonials for Martin Doyle’s flutes can be viewed here: Testimonials »

Responsive Template

A new template for Martin Doyle Flutes

March 2015: a new template for Martin Doyle Flutes.

Martin Doyle’s website has also just received a rebuild using a responsive HTML template called Finesse. Modifications have also made to how the information and pricing for all models and aspects of Martin Doyle’s flutes are displayed. The new Flutes and Prices section is where most of these changes have occurred and we hope that they enhance the visitor experience to Martin Doyle Flutes.

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Teardrop on a Martin Doyle Flute

This recently published video clip is a cover of the Massive Attack classic Teardrop as performed by the Irish flute player Eimear McGeown on a Martin Doyle keyless D flute. A lovely piece beautifully performed by Eimear who gets great tone from the flute.

From the credits:

A cover of the song Teardrop by Massive Attack. Demo Version produced by John Tonks. Arranged by Eimear McGeown and John Tonks. Eimear McGeown – Irish Flute. Anna Jenkins – Violin/Viola.

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Martin Doyle’s role in Becoming Jane

If you read the previous post, you will be aware that Martin Doyle spent a couple of weeks visiting friends (and making more) in Christchurch, New Zealand, over the 2014 Christmas period. On arrival Martin was quite ill with a heavy cold that he had caught in Clare the day before he left, which incubated very nicely during the 36 hours of air travel he had to endure to reach the far side of the world.

It is a matter of fact that bugs also like to travel and so it came to pass that Martin’s Kiwi friend and host Shardul caught a downgraded, second-hand, left-over version of the vicious and virulent virus. Life went on like this for a few short (and sometimes long) days and while the two were in convalescere mode one night, it was decided that a good movie would help clear the head-fog. The conversation revolving around which movie to watch went something like this…

Shardul: “Hey Martin, can you recommend a movie? I think we need to zone out for an hour or two.”

Martin: “Have a look at Becoming Jane.”

S: “Never heard of it. Is it any good?”

M: “Of course it’s good – I’m in it!

S: “You’re in a movie?!?

Read the rest of this entry »

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