In The Bag: Linsey Pollak

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Linsey is well known all around Australia as a musician, instrument maker, composer, musical director and community music facilitator. He has toured his solo shows extensively in Europe, North America and Asia since 1996. He established The Multicultural Arts Centre of Western Australia as wells as performing at most of the major Festivals around Australia. On top of recording 33 albums (solo & with various groups), he has worked as an instrument maker for 40 years and has designed many new wind instruments. Linsey has a reputation for making and playing instruments made from found objects such as rubber gloves, carrots, watering cans, chairs, brooms and bins.

He specialises in woodwind instruments from Eastern Europe having studied Macedonian bagpipes in Macedonia.

What bagpipes do you play?

Macedonian Gaida and my own invention – the Australian Kitchen Glove Bagpipe

What led you to take up piping?

Falling in love with the sound of the Macedonian Gaida

Which pipers do you most admire?

Pece Atanasovski

Bellows or mouth-blown?

Mouth blown

Cats or dogs?

Dogs

Cane or plastic reeds?

Cane

Do you prefer playing, dancing or both?

Playing …but enjoy both

What three words describe your piping style?

Hybrid Macedonian / Australian

Renaud Garcia-Fons, Charlie Mariano, Eberhard Weber

If you had your life again, what instrument would you play?

Double bass & /or electric bass

Name your favourite music festival.

Woodford Folk Festival (Queensland, Australia)

What three albums are top of your playlist right now?

  • “Navigatore” - Renaud Garcia Fons
  • “Total Tajine” - Orchestre International du Vetex
  • “Endless Days” - Eberhard Weber

What’s your greatest musical achievement?

well ….for 2016 ……it’s creating a 275 person Carrot Clarinet Orchestra in Amsterdam

What’s your most embarrassing bagpiping moment?

Rubber glove bursting in the middle of a performance

What’s the most annoying question you get asked about the bagpipes?

…..but do you play the REAL Bagpipes? Or, how often does the rubber glove burst?

What advice would you give a novice?

…..told you

I love bagpipes because…

They are a totally ‘complete’ instrument

As told to Andy Letcher

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