The Tin Whistle Experiment begins as a research project for my masters degree in composition at the Conservatorium Van Amsterdam. I will present this research at a symposium in the Conservatorium in March 2016. Throughout conducting this research I have been encouraged by the enthusiasm and interest shown by those I approached for assistance and feel it has considerably more potential than I had first anticipated. I am keen to evolve it into something greater and more enduring after my initial presentation and so I have created this website to continue the discussion and catalogue its development. – Darragh Kearns-Hayes


This is an exploration of new approaches to playing and composing for the tin whistle and low whistle. I don’t aim to propose a replacement for the current cultures and traditions surrounding tin whistle, I would rather like to investigate additional techniques and possibilities which could stimulate new ideas. This could be of benefit to instrumentalists within those traditions in creating fusions with other styles or to newcomers who want to use the whistle, as a very versatile instrument, in any context. The tin whistle is widely used in education as it is very accessible in playability and affordability. Creating the facility to use the whistle to expose students to many different styles of music could be very useful. It would remove the need to learn a new instrument to experiment with contemporary music for example.


I also feel that integrating the tin whistle into contemporary music could provide new textures and possibilities for composers and performers from that field and that classical players could bring whistle playing in other directions by bringing their different aesthetics and technical training to the instrument. It is a prime candidate for an instrument for musicians to double on as it is very intuitive and relatively easy to become proficient on.