Born and bred in Dublin, Ronan Browne left the city in 1990, spending ten years in the Glen of Imaal before crossing the Shannon in the year 2000 to live in Spiddal.
Musicians Peter O’Loughlin, Willie Clancy, Séamus Ennis, Leo Rowsome, Tommy Reck, Denis Murphy and Tommy Potts were family friends so it is no wonder that they all had a huge influence on Ronan’s musical development. It was only in later years that the singing of his maternal grandmother, Delia Murphy, became important to him, as the young Ronan saw her more as a grandmother than an influential singer.
Ronan’s first lessons were from Dan O’Dowd with the newly formed Na Píobairí Uilleann in the early 1970s. As he grew older, and especially during his years studying architecture next door in Bolton Street, John Kelly’s Capel Street shop The Horse Shoe and beside it The Four Seasons pub, became his places of learning – if you waited long enough it seemed that all good musicians passed through at some time.
Having spent his life as a professional musician, Ronan straddles that difficult divide between pure Irish music and the modern electronic world, his work including solo projects, his celebrated life-long duet with veteran musician Peter O’Loughlin, the trio CRAN, playing with Kevin Glackin and Seán Tyrrell, his acclaimed collaboration with poet Louis de Paor and trio performances with Conamara singer Róisín Elsafty and harpist Siobhán Armstrong, writing and performing music for film and television and as the original piper with both the Afro Celt Sound System and Riverdance.
Ronan has been involved in over a hundred and fifty album recordings since his first venture into the studio in 1982 and has collaborated with many top traditional Irish music, classical, pop, jazz and country artists.
Ronan’s recent ventures have included a critically acclaimed listening/music-appreciation class which opens peoples’ ears to the nuances of Irish music and a series of in-depth historical and critical articles on the piper and pipe-maker R. L. O’Mealy (1873-1947) for the Seán Reid Society. Ronan has been a member of the house-band for three series of the hugely successful cult music programme The Transatlantic Sessions. His music has been used in many films including The Secret of Roan Inis, Circle of Friends, Rob Roy and Gangs of New York while possibly the strangest place his music has been placed was in the Playboy video of Farrah Fawcett, All of Me!
Since 2007, Ronan has played pipes, flutes and whistles for wedding ceremonies and he was awarded Wedding Musician of the Year 2011 at the Weddings Online Awards.
Alongside live performances, Ronan also publishes his own music and the songs of Delia Murphy. Recording at his studio, An Tobar Fuaime, he specialises in spoken voice and recording musical instruments in real spaces, capturing the nuances of their sound.
An avid photographer, with a particular interest in photographing musical instruments, Ronan has developed a keen interest in design and now designs an increasing number of album covers.