About tradDad

Born and raised in Manchester, England I grew up learning Sligo style flute playing from Marian Egan & Tony Ryan.

I am a Tutor and Doctoral Candidate at the University of Sheffield Department of Music specialising in Asturian Folk and Irish Traditional Music.

I am currently working on recording projects with Ciarán Boyle and Helen Gubbins, as Boyle, Gubbins & Walsh, utilising my flute, tin whistle and vocal skills as well as slowly developing my solo album with Michael McGoldrick over in Manchester.

In 2016 I was a finalist in the prestigious Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal Competition in Cork.

I am a former All Britain Senior Flute Champion and have performed across Europe and in The United States with Trad Irish Groups, Céilí Bands and Theatre Productions as well as being featured on the Soundtrack to ‘The Irish Empire’ TV Series Commissioned by Radio Telefís Eireann/BBC Northern Ireland/SBS AUSTRALIA.

In the last couple of years I have been delighted to tutor at The University of Sheffield, Whitby Folk Week, Trip to Birmingham Trad Fest and The Leeds Irish Gathering as well as working on my PhD: “A ‘Celtic’ or ‘National’ Aesthetic? Flute Playing in the Contemporary Asturian Folk Scene”.

A few years ago things needed to change…..

Gazing up at the sky over Santiago de Compostela I felt everything was possible now. After a 1000km of walking across Spain on the Camino de Santiago my body was lean and my mind refreshed. Pilgrim stories bounced around my head interweaving with the ever present soundtrack of ‘Celtic’ Galicia. I would never return to the humdrum life.

Back in England, despite my best intentions, I took an easier route. Jumped back on the work express took the pay cheque. But all the time something told me that other worlds were possible. I fell in love; a daughter came into my life. Her whole being constantly threw at me questions about my integrity, about walking the walk as I had challenged so many people to do since my Camino experience.

So I jumped off the express where I thought the landing would be soft enough and decided to follow my heart, inspire my daughter and keep the flame lit that my partner recognised in me when we first met.

This blog is a record of my thoughts, actions and results as I work towards my dream of another world filled with the sounds, smells and tastes of the Iberian Atlantic Coast, a happy growing family, a PhD and lots and lots of flute playing.

Watching the tragic events unfolding in Santiago de Compostela over the last two weeks in July 2013 my heart was deeply saddened but I was reminded of that night sky in the city of stars and the gift of life that I had. So this is me getting on with it, the Camino has only just begun.

10 comments

  1. T x says:

    Love your outlook Mike and the best of luck following your dreams xx

  2. Mike Wild says:

    Looks like a challenging journey Mike , I look forward to following it Mike

  3. Tom Sullivan says:

    Like your style Mike, you’ve made me smile.

  4. Gill says:

    Love your blog – we were in Galicia last summer – went by train from Sheffield so not quite the effort of the Caminos, but loved everything about it. You can get pimientos de Padron in Waitrose – did you know!!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Gill. A train journey to Northern Spain sounds great. We may get round to that at some point. I love Pimientos de Padron… mmm trip to Waitrose tomorrow me thinks.

  5. Good luck with your journey Mike – it’s certainly an inspiring one!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Jo. I am going to have a look at your site a bit more. Thank you so much for the tips today and taking time out of your bust schedule. It was a good accident that my daughter got hold of my phone and discovered your page.

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