In the early 1980s, during the period I was playing with the Jazz Knights Dixieland Band, I came across a fiddler & a bodhran player playing in a Montreal pub. The sound of the bodhran rekindled my interest in the instrument, so I set out to learn the basics of playing, and how it was made… I now make new instruments, and also offer repair and refurbishing services.
I was born and grew up in the Ardoyne district of Belfast, Northern Ireland. My father played accordion in the NORTH BELFAST ACCORDION BAND, which I joined in 1958. We played together during the years the band won the Championship of Ireland, senior accordion band grade, in 1959 and 1960.
Sources of Inspiration
While growing up, I often played not far from my home, in a glen with a little stream running through it… the area was known as ARDGLEN, and it is this name which I have chosen for my bodhrans, to remind me of the happy times of my up-bringing, and my life there.Over the years, the name appears to have been lost, and the area is now known as… “The Ballysillan Playing Fields."
The logo for ARDGLEN BODHRANS starts with a letter “A” inspired by the “BOOK of KELLS”, and I have modified it slightly for my own purposes.