Martin Preshaw, a native of Belfast, resides on a 35 acre smallholding with his wife and two children between the villages of Kesh and Pettigo on the Fermanagh/Donegal border. As a teenager growing up in Belfast during a very difficult period in Irish History, he immersed himself in the Irish language and culture
Martin later read his first degree in Modern Irish Studies and then went onto train as a primary school teacher in Colaiste Mhuire, a college of Queens University Belfast. He taught primary school children entirely through the medium of Irish before returning to work on the Uilleann pipes (the Irish bagpipes) on a full-time basis. Indeed, it is as a fine craftsman making beautiful Uilleann pipes that Martin has carved out an international reputation for himself and his instruments.
Martin studied the music of Planxty and the Bothy Band who boasted the renowned pipers Liam O'Flynn and Paddy Keenan amongst their ranks. He would listen to all the old recordings of the great pipers such as Leo Rowsome, Seamus Ennis, Willie Clancy and Patsy Touhey. However, it was the travelling style of piping and in particular the pipering of Johnnie Doran that captured his heart and his imagination:
"I wanted to be a Jonnie Doran, Paddy Keenan, Finbar Furey and Davy Spillane all rolled into one. I wanted my piping to reflect that fire, that free-expression and encapsulate the excitement of those players' styles. -- Martin Preshaw