Who am I?
My name is Brendan White and I come from Youghal in Co Cork. I was kind of washed ashore in Holland a few years ago. I have very little to say about bodhrans that has not already been said. The Irish bodhran or Irish drum has become as much a symbol of Ireland, as the harp and maybe even more so in recent years.
How did it all start?
I started off as a player more than 40 years ago. Then I started making non tunable bodhrans, they were good for their time but they were like all non tunables, trouble some, if you did not no how to handle them. Charlie Byrne from Thurles Co Tipperary made the best of them.
Donal Lunny encouraged me to try and make one with the tuners on the inside, after tinkering a lot I succeeded. I now have a very strong reliable rim and tuning system. Life span between 10 and 20 years depending on who is sitting behind it.
Johnny Mc Donagh asked me to try multiple heads which I did with success. The skins I use tell their tale in sound. Gino Lupari asked if I could a make a lighter rim which gave me the idea of the hollow rim or sound chamber. All my Irish bodhrans have that unless otherwise requested. I use Finnish birch wood a fast growing wood and renewable. Water based color and water based varnish. I have no excuse for the goats or the little bit of brass.
Brendan White bodhrans have also made it into films. Donal Lunny in The Brylcream Boys, my good friend Mick Flynn in Ballykissangel, The Ceili Bandits, Tim Foley in Masters and Commanders, Jackie Moran in The Road To Perdition, and Marc Duff from Capercaille in Rob Roy.