Friday, February 3, 2012

Davey Gunn, Bodhran Maker

A 2 month old goat kid in a field of capeweedImage via Wikipedia
GOATS are hard to come by these days, and bodhráns are becoming very popular with aspiring young musicians. Which all goes to make things a little difficult for Davey Gunn, the bodhrán-maker from Trieneragh, Duagh, Listowel.

Davey, who began his unusual trade over 25 years ago, estimates that he makes between 40 and 50 bodhráns every year. And as goat skin is the ideal material for a bodhrán the scarcity of goats is a bit inconvenient. Nevertheless, Davey is very pleased about the growing interest in the bodhrán.

Davey's home in Trieneragh has become something of a meeting place for musicians and his wife Mamie always obiliges the visitors with a few tunes on the accordion.

Among the many signatures Davey has in his record of visitors to the house are those of Ciarán Macmathúna and Tommy Makem, plus many other Irish and International musicians.

Davey learned how to make the instrument from watching a friend of his wife, a Mr. O'mahoney, from Ballylongford. "He was the first person I saw making them. He used to make them for the wren," he explained.

The biggest part of making a bodhrán is curing the goat skin and this takes nine days.

"They're not that hard to make," he said modestly, "but I have to get the goats and kill them myself."

Lifestyle -

1 comment:

The Lane Cottage said...

I worked for Davy years ago. He even teacher me the art of making them . But I don't do it any more