Dungiven bodhran maker in major documentary

A Dungiven bodhran and harp maker is to feature prominently in a major radio documentary to be aired tomorrow (Saturday, March 25).

Over the next fortnight, Documentary On Newstalk presents the second series of ‘The Hands & Hearts of the Music Makers’, in which International Award Winning Producer Nuala Macklin travels the country, meeting members of the thriving community of highly-skilled craftsmen which produces some of the finest examples of world-class musical instruments.

The documentary makers promise listeners that: “Seamus will have you laughing with lots of comical stories which helped for the tapestry of his amazing life.”

Episode One of ‘The Hands & Hearts of the Music Makers’ will be broadcast on Newstalk 106-108fm tomorrow, Saturday March 25, at 7am and will be repeated at 10pm that evening.

Seamus gives some hints of his journey to instrument making on his own website, and offers a flavour of what listeners can enjoy when tuning into tomorrow’s documentary.

He says: “At the age of ten, I made a rough guitar from an old tea chest. The only tools I had were a hacksaw blade with cloth wrapped around it for a handle, and a hot poker to burn the holes for the tuning keys, a penknife and a bit of glass The strings were fishing line, fishing gut, and various thicknesses of stripped electrical copper wire.

“At 12, I made my own drum kit using a variety of tin drums and a square of hammered corrugated iron for cymbals. The big Snowcem tins had a profiled groove very much like what I now use in the single screw tuning system. At that time I used a tourniquet rope and 6” nail, to tension thick plastic sheet used as the drum head.My hands still bear the scars of all the cuts I gave myself whilst making things as a child.”