Thursday, November 6, 2008

M&E Irish flute

Michael Cronnolly is a flute maker based near Swinford in Co Mayo. He makes Rudall & Rose style flutes in rosewood, blackwood and polymer.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Matt Molloy

Through friendship with Paddy Moloney, Matt Molloy was already familiar with the Chieftains when he joined in 1979 as one of the two non - Dubliners in the group, replacing Michael Tubridy on flute. The Chieftains 9; Boil The Breakfast Early is his first album with the Chieftains. Matt Molloy comes from a strong musical background, of the famed fiddle and flute playing tradition of North Connacht. Before joining the Chieftains, Matt was already known as an accomplished flautist playing with a number of groups and session artists.

Matt was born in Ballaghadereen, County Roscommon, an area well known for flute players. Matt began playing the flute at age 8 and by the age of 18, he had won the All-Ireland Flute Championship and had a string of successes in National Fleadh Cheoil and Oireachtas. He moved to Dublin in the mid 1960's where he started playing in the music scene and became acquainted with Paddy Moloney. He was invited to join The Chieftains in 1979.

During the burgeoning folk scene of the 1970's, Matt was a founding member of the famous folk group, The Bothy Band. After the Bothy Band, Matt appeared briefly with the reformed group, Planxty. Matt has released several highly acclaimed solo albums and has worked with other accomplished musicians. He has teamed up with Paul Brady, Tommy Peoples, Micheál Ó Súilleabháin, Dónal Lunny and the Irish Chamber Orchestra among other artists.

McGee Flutes

Terry McGee makes wooden flutes for Irish, early and classical music based on the best of original instruments, including the popular Rudall & Rose and Pratten's Perfected models. Based in Malua Bay, New South Wales, Australia, Terry has been a flute maker since the mid seventies and exports his instruments to the four corners of the globe.

Terry's instruments are one-off craftsman-built instruments using the finest materials and a combination of traditional and modern techniques. They show the benefit of the vast and continuing research he has undertaken in Australia and in collections around the world. The most rigorous attention to tuning makes his instruments the most precise and vibrant available, and incorporation of new techniques makes them far more rewarding to play than the best of the originals. On the practical side, he has developed a new tuning slide which does not cause splitting as did the traditional slide, and new key shapes to improve ease of playing.

Terry also makes replacement parts and carries out repairs and rebuilds for original instruments.His site includes extensive information on flute care, history, research, choosing a flute, fingering charts and links to other important flute resources.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mike Mc Goldrick & Dezi Donnelly live, 2

Part 2 of the Full Set with McGoldrick & Donnelly

Mike McGoldrick and Dezi Donnelly Live, part 1

McGoldrick and Donnelly live on RTE's "Full Set".

The Irish Flute

The Irish flute is a name for a wooden flute used in the playing of Irish traditional music. Sometimes the term is also used to distinguish diatonic, simple system flutes from 19th century flutes which played a diatonic scale by successively uncovering the toneholes but were made chromatic by the addition of metal keys. Some musicians consider the term "Irish flute" to be a misnomer, as the instrument is just a development of the older, simple system flutes, and is used in a wide variety of music, including Scottish music, Breton music, and others.

Irish flutes were originally old English simple system flutes that were discarded by concert musicians during the advent of the modern, Boehm system, Western concert flute in the late 1800s. These "obsolete" flutes were picked up at low cost by Irish traditional musicians. Today, Irish flutes are being made expressly for the playing of Irish traditional music by many makers. These modern Irish flutes often have few, if any keys, which is one difference between them and their predecessors, which had anywhere from 5-10 keys in addition to the standard six open holes. Some of the best known modern flute makers include Michael Grinter, Patrick Olwell, Sam Murray and Hammy Hamilton and Martin Doyle (flute maker). Terry McGee is also a well known maker of Irish flutes and his website (listed below) has a wealth of information.

Irish flutes are usually made out of wood, but are also occasionally made out of composite materials such as Delrin. Both materials have fairly similar musical characteristics, however, at least in comparison to metal flutes. Some makers also make more inexpensive practice flutes out of other materials, such as PVC or metal. Due to its wood headjoint, characteristic embouchure, the direct (keyless) fingering of notes in two major scales, and the characteristic manner of playing which is part of the Irish music tradition, the simple system flutes have a distinctly different sound than the Western concert flute. The tone of both instruments of course varies greatly with the player, but in general the simple system flutes have a bit of a darker, reedy tone and the direct fingering and style of playing gives the notes just a bit of portamento.

There are two main styles of Irish flute, the Pratten and the Rudall & Rose. The Pratten has wider bore dimensions and provides a louder sound, while the Rudall & Rose has a darker, pure tone and is slightly thinner than the Pratten style flute. Some flutes have an extra two holes on the end, which are meant to stabilize the tone and are not meant to be played.