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Post Info TOPIC: Bodhran makers Dingle/Killarney


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Bodhran makers Dingle/Killarney


My husband and I are going to be in Ireland for a week in April. We'd like to find a bodhran maker to visit in the Dingle/Killarney area. We will be arriving at Shannon and staying the week in Killarney, using that as home base. So, if there is a bodhran maker within 2 hours in any direction that would be very interesting to us.

Thank you,
Suzanne

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Suzanne,


Try the following:


http://www.ceolas.org/instruments/bodhran/makers.shtml


Otherwise, I suggest going into the tourist office in each town you are in to make an inquiry.


Michele



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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

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Hi Suzanne,
We are doing the same as you--arriving in Shannon, and staying in Killarney as a home base. We'll be there in June, however.

I've not yet been to Ireland, but my husband and I used to own a music store and we carried bodhrans from Roundstone. These are great bodhrans and Malachy Kearns is well-known as one of the finest makers. They even helped to develop a very special drum for the Riverdance troupe.

You can read more about them at www.bodhran.com (I think). It says they are "situated on the western sea board of Ireland within the village of Roundstone in West Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland." (I suspect it might be within two hours of Shannon, but probably not Killarney. Michele will have to help you out with travel times!) I don't know if you want to actually see bodhran's being made, or if you are just interested in purchasing one. I'm sure Roundstone bodhran's are available at music shops throughout Ireland so you could always contact them and find out what music stores in the Killarney area carry their product.

Jeanne (The Next Chapter)





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Jeanne Page


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Hi Suzanne:


I've been on the same search that you are on, though not in Dingle. If you are landing in Shannon, one option is to go to Custy's in Ennis. They are trad music specialists. http://www.custysmusic.com/ Believe it or not, I bought mine from a maker in Germany and it's a fabulous instrument. http://www.bodhranmaker.de/00home-e.php His top of the line are pretty expensive (about $400) but if you consider the difference between the best and the worst, there are very few professional instruments with such a small range. OK, the tin whistle is the obvious exception. I have the double skinned, double tune model which is beautiful and has an amazing range of sound. I got a deal on it since he was just starting to market them and had a promotional price. There is a company inthe US (Colorado) that sells them, but the price I got from him was better. I highly recommend his work. I played a Brendan White (from the Netherlands) and it was nice, but I easily prefer mine. Brendan has a pretty good name in the business.


As far as Roundstone bodhrans, I have a different opinion. Malachy Kerns is certainly an expert at marketing but I found his drums disappointing. He apparently doesn't make a double skinned instrument which is generally considered fairly standard for a professional quality instrument and his single skins made it into the price range of most double skins. His artwork is nice, but I prefer to buy the instrument for it's sound, and I was unimpressed. I spoke with other players and either his name didn't come up or it was met with a frown. It seems that some of the best known makers of the instruments are not in Ireland, though there are certainly some good ones there.


I hope this helps. I don't know everything there is to know about bodhrans but I have a few too many degrees in music. I must know something.


Bill



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Thanks to the folks who've responded to my request for information. Last April when we were in Ireland we headed up toward Connamara almost immediately after climbing off the plane in Shannon and didn't quite make it due to a combination of jetlag and the signs being in Irish and our map being in English! The scenery was outstanding though, and well worth the journey.

I've read about the shop in Ennis, and we will be very close to there the first night, so maybe we'll just check that out. Thanks for the information on Bodhran's in general, and Roundstone's in particular. I'll pass that information along to the member of our family that actually knows something about them. My husband has several and there's always something new you can learn about them I'd guess.

I can't wait to be getting off the plane in Ireland!

Peace,
Suzanne

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Dear Michelle,

Thank you for your ideas to help in the bodhran making search. Asking in the villages is a great way to go as there are probably local makers who just don't have web sites.

Your forum is wonderful. Thank you for hosting it.

Peace,
Suzanne

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Suzanne,


Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm glad you are enjoying the forum. I knew that Bill would chime in on this conversation with his usual good info. I wouldn't know a good bodhran from a bad one myself. You need a musician's advice on that.


I had to chuckle over your getting lost in Connemara. I did that in the distant past myself. So what I did was add a list of Irish/English place names to my chapter on Galway. This year I added them for Dingle and other Gaeltacht areas. Now people with my book will know where they are going. I can't guarantee they won't get lost though!


Michele


 



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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

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Dear Michelle,

I am indeed enjoying the forum. Sometimes I think the 'mishaps' become some of the most memorable parts of our journeys! During our Roundstone adventure we ate in this little town up on the bluffs overlooking the ocean. There was a school on the next little pennisula and the school bell rang and out ran all these children in navy blue uniforms. They played in the ocean breezes totally oblivious to the fact that we were sitting there admiring the 'view' and they were the biggest part of it! So lovely.

Thank you!
Suzanne

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wojazz3 wrote:


As far as Roundstone bodhrans, I have a different opinion. Malachy Kerns is certainly an expert at marketing but I found his drums disappointing. He apparently doesn't make a double skinned instrument which is generally considered fairly standard for a professional quality instrument and his single skins made it into the price range of most double skins. His artwork is nice, but I prefer to buy the instrument for it's sound, and I was unimpressed. I spoke with other players and either his name didn't come up or it was met with a frown.


Yes it seems that the musicians themselves are not crazy about the Malachy Kearns Bodhrans.  There was a thread a while back on the www.thesession.org about where to get the best Bodhran.  It was unanimous not to get them at Roundstone Musical Instruments.  Still I think if you are visiting Roundstone it is still a cool shop to visit.


Mark


 



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Mark Andersen


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It really depends on the level of player. Let's face it, the community of serious Bodhran players is not large (at least here in the US). For most folks that came through our store-- it was something new to try, or perhaps to pick up at a session when they didn't know the tune being played. In those instances (and for the majority of people) a Roundstone or a Walton is a fine choice--much, much better than the "Trinity College" drums made in Pakistan that we see all over the place. We probably saw 100 people just wanting to 'dabble' on the instrument for every one person who wanted to play it seriously. My husband teaches a four week Bodhran class at our local University and usually has about 20 students in his class. He's done this for years and out of all those students I can count on one hand (and have fingers left over) the number who have continued with it in any serious way.

For those folks or any other truly "serious" player, (like the folks you'll find over at the "sessions" website) I'd recommend those made by Albert Alphonso (sp?) in Texas. Beautiful bodhrans!

Jeanne (The Next Chapter)



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Jeanne Page


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Hi Jeanne:


I certainly agree that not everyone needs or would want a professional bodhran but it is nice to know that he difference between he best and worst price wise is not that great. Fiddles would be a different story . I just wouldn't suggest that he reputedly makes some of the finest and his high end ones are about the same price as other high end versions, just not as good.


I talked with a woman that played a bodhran made my the guy you mention and she really liked it although she sometimes has a problem with it in the dry Colorado climate. I didn't get to play it, but she sounded very good. It seemed to be a very nice instrument. Still, my drum by Christian in Germany ..... ooh, it's a fine one lass.


Bill


 



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Dear All,

We are leaving for Ireland tomorrow and I thought I'd check back in with this forum to share the information I found on another forum! In Dingle there's a bodhran maker named Andrea Powers. She has a small shop in town; I've been told it may be on Green Street so we are going to look her up! I'll report back what we find out. The contributor said he uses her bodhran all the time, they are very well-made and he's even ordering another one this summer.

Enjoy!
Suzanne

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Suzanne,


Thanks for sharing the info about the bodhran maker in Dingle. We will look forward to hearing more upon your return.


Michele



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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



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Sounds like a wonderful trip! You might want to explore Rónán Ó Snodaigh's Irish drum, the bodhrán, workshop in Dublin, which is within 2 hours of Killarney. Enjoy your Irish adventure and your quest to discover the world of bodhráns! 



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That area is a well known bodhran making region.



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