Martin Nolan

Martin's Gear Page > Songwriter, musician Iona / 2009-present
Uilleann Pipes / Low & Tin Whistles Uilleann Pipes / Low & Tin Whistles Uilleann Pipes / Low & Tin Whistles Uilleann Pipes / Low & Tin Whistles Uilleann Pipes / Low & Tin Whistles Uilleann Pipes / Low & Tin Whistles Uilleann Pipes / Low & Tin Whistles Uilleann Pipes / Low & Tin Whistles Uilleann Pipes / Low & Tin Whistles Uilleann Pipes / Low & Tin Whistles Uilleann Pipes / Low & Tin Whistles Uilleann Pipes / Low & Tin Whistles
Photos by Joe del Tufo, Janien Kommer, Lutz Diehl & Monica Duffels
T he newest member of joining in 2009, Martin's uilleann piping has taken him throughout Europe and the UK, India, Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada, from the Lincoln Center for the Arts in New York to the national theatres of Ireland and England and concert halls across the Indian subcontinent.

Respected in the Irish traditional scene, he has also played alongside jazz greats such as Dave Liebman, the late Michael Brecker, Ronan Guilfoyle, Conor Guilfoyle, Tommy Halferty, Michael Buckley and the Bocl Brothers. Other collaborative work includes virtuoso Hungarian violinist Zoltan Lantos and Japanese performance artist Keiji Heino.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, it was here Martin took his first lessons from John Keenan Sr, the father of well-known piper Paddy Keenan. Martin's playing is strongly influenced by the 'travelling style' of piping, which employs legato and staccato techniques, elements which are heard to great effect in his playing.

'Martin Nolan's pipes... caught the eddies, ducking and diving alongside the jazz lines with nervy agility... The wedding of sax and pipes was particularly spectacular.'
Irish Times (review of Michael Buckley's Translations)

'Martin Nolan is a noted piper and composer whose openness and receptiveness to new ideas has taken him and his pipes around the world.'
The Sunday Tribune (Dublin)

'Well-versed in the tradition of his instrument, Martin is constantly expanding its repertoire by playing in unusual contexts.'
The Event Guide (Dublin)
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Discography (3)

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23rd May 2022

Just a few tickets left!

4th March 2022

Hi Everyone, I've been working towards launching my Patreon page for the past several months and am thrilled it's finally 'live'! Of course I'd no idea when I started preparing it that the world would be in the grip of yet another terrible crisis, with Putin's totally unjustified and brutal invasion of the sovereign country of Ukraine. This of course affects all our lives in many profound ways, the enormous ramifications of which are still unfolding. Like you I'm sure, my heart is aching for the innocent people who's lives are being devastated by this totally unjustified war, especially the young children caught up in a terrifying situation they don't understand. I thought of postponing the launch of the page as it seems so trivial a thing to be doing in such unsettling times. However, if our peaceful way of life is undermined and artistic expression is stifled, then the enemy wins. More than ever in this divided world we need to come together and find common ground through the things that unite us, and our shared love of music is one way we can do this. When our hearts are crying out for peace, music can help to soothe our souls and connect us to a deeper, eternal reality. Thank you for reading this, and, if you choose, your patronage. I will continue to make music because I profoundly believe in the hope of a better future for us all, and this is the way I can express that hope.

18th April 2022

People who love Iona's music - have you heard Dave Bainbridge's new album 'To The Far Away yet? Here are some quotes from people who have:

“The lockdown had taken Dave away from touring, putting himself in composing mode and the result will probably outclass the previous glories as this whopper is a timeless classic of the finest vintage…..A no nonsense top 3 album for 2021, a true prog classic. A must hear and a must have.”

“To The Far Away, just might be, well - the best thing he’s ever done – and with his years of output that’s saying a lot. Of course everything’s subjective, but I think it’s safe to say that 'To The Far Away' is easily Dave Bainbridge’s most accessible work, containing not just the expected virtuoso performances from all involved, but compositions that will please followers of Dave’s work with Iona, his solo projects, and his contributions to albums by the likes of Strawbs and Lifesigns. A brilliant balance of vocal and instrumental tracks, 'To The Far Away' will thrill and delight fans of both Celtic and ‘traditional’ prog-rock, and anyone open to more adventurous realms of music in general……If you’re a fan of Iona, Dave Bainbridge’s solo work, Celtic prog, classic prog-rock – whatever! You need this.”
Bert Saraco -

"If you remember the band 'Iona' you will love this album. It's a masterpiece of Celtic Prog Rock...a thrillingly epic, goose-bump inducing journey of heartfelt songs and soaring instrumentals with the beautiful sound and imaginative playing of Dave Bainbridge and a host of superb guest artists."
Nigel Cameron - Celtish

"It sounds wonderful and as I miss Iona it is like they have returned."
Clive Poyser

"To the Far Away, is a wonderful journey of the mind, full of captivating music throughout. This album is one of the best albums of 2021. It is definitely in the top ten progressive rock albums of the year. With Dave Bainbridge’s years of experience making great music with Iona and on his own solo work, I knew this would be one of the best albums of the year, and it definitely lived up to and exceeded every expectation. Please get this album, relax and enjoy the journey. Every song is captivating and full of the kind of music that made Iona famous."

"To The Far Away is deeply beautiful and stunningly majestic. There is vision and sentiment that touches and is touching. From beginning to finale, not a wasted note, not a wasted space. It is reminiscent of Clannad and Capercaille and soars with the energy of The Mahavishnu Orchestra. The singing is lilting and sweet. The lyrics, stories of depth and a passion for the best of humanity. Tremendous performances by all involved in this truly noteworthy album. Each piece is strong and leads to the next. I couldn't stop. Congratulations on an amazing album."
Ken Stasion

“And just to get straight to the point, the music is of great, if not exceptional, class….the wonderful Celtic influences in the music are back. Both Troy Donockley and Martin Nolan, his successor at Iona, sprinkle liberally with Celtic flute sounds….lovers of atmospheric symphonic music have a pearl in their hands with this album. This is hashtag #heavenly.”

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