Dublin to Malmö
My name is Tim Adams, I make flutes and I grew up in Dublin. That makes me an Irish Flute Maker. I met a girl and followed her to Sweden, as we do, in 1982. And I’ve been here with the same girl since then. Our three children eventually moved from home to embark on their own life’s journeys some years ago giving time and space to other things. My wife, Ray, makes beautiful wooden jewelry HERE and I make what are referred to as Irish flutes. My story is no more unique than yours but here is some of it.
Hymns to ballads
As a child I sang in a church choir, acted Oliver Twist and beat a snare drum in a marching band. In the late 70s I sang, played electric guitar and fronted bands that supported some of the major acts in a very vibrant and fun 70s Dublin rock scene. I left Ireland with my Andy Irvine songbook, O’Neill's Music of Ireland 1850, a Yamaha acoustic guitar, a mandolin, a tin whistle and a mind to evangelise the land with songs and music from Ireland and its neighbouring islands. In Sweden I played Irish songs and tunes for hundreds of audiences with my wife and good friends over many years.
Tool making to flute making
I learnt to turn, mill and grind machine parts, precision tools and
fixtures from the most skilled men in Dublin in the late 70s. The
workshop was cold but the men and their ways were warm and very old
Dublin. When you can manually machine steel accurate to 0.01 mm you
believe you can make anything so when I bought my first flute from
Dessie Seery in Bray in the 80s, I decided I would make flutes some
Then I became a father and my flute making ambitions had to step aside for a couple of decades while I moved through toolmaking, teaching, translating, entertaining and copywriting, to pay the bills.
Now to beyond
I started making flutes seriously in 2014 and I enjoy sending them
off to different parts of the wide world to become part of people’s
musical lives. What a privilege.
Long into the future I hope to continue to make and send out flutes that people can afford to buy and enjoy to play.