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Trip to Pontivy


I’ve always been interested in playing different styles of music on the standard classical flute and have been playing Irish music for over 20 years. It started when I heard Matt Molloy playing wooden flute on “James Galway and The Chieftains” and after failing to find a decent wooden flute to buy (it’s much easier to get a good quality one these days, but back then it was very hard to find a good one without joining a seemingly endless waiting list) I started trying to play Irish music on my silver flute. What followed was lots of listening, experimenting, lessons with Sarah Allen & Brian Finnegan (From the band Flook!) and attending the excellent Folkworks summer school in Durham (thanks to my school friend & fiddle player Pete Lyons suggesting we go). I ended up studying for my Masters in Irish Music Performance at the Irish World Academy of Music & Dance at the University of Limerick on the west coast of Ireland.

What started out as trying to make the silver flute sound like a wooden flute, has led me to develop a style of playing traditional music on the silver flute which is very enjoyable to play. It has enabled me to write and record some music which I’m very happy with. I hope you’ll enjoy listening to the albums and playing the pieces in this series.

This piece is perhaps less obviously inspired by Irish music than the others in the series, and I’ve kept it simple by not including any special techniques – it didn’t feel like it needed anything more.

About the Piece

Trip To Pontivy is named after my grandfathers hometown in Brittany, in the north east corner of France. I never went with my grandfather when he was alive. The first time I went was on tour with the great uilleann piper Calum Stewart, for a radio show between gigs. I had to do quite a lot of talking on the Breton radio show and it turns out my French is surprisingly bad for a man with a french name…

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