There are plenty of reasons to visit Mallorca in March – the gentle breezes from the Mediterranean, the traditional welcome of Mallorcan people, the arrival of the swallows two months before they arrive in northern Europe. The arrival of bagpipers from around the world was yet another; when the International Bagpipe Conference was held, outside the UK for the first time, in Palma, Mallorca, over the weekend of International Bagpipe Day.Read more »
Many(1)people know the Luttrell Psalter bagpiper(2). He tends to be reproduced on mediaeval greeting cards and T shirts, and to be invoked when anyone says “Oh, not just Scottish, then?”. His depiction is quite detailed, his pipes convincing (even if his hands are, from modern perspective, the wrong way round), and his manner a little shifty. Similar figures appear in the margins of other mediaeval manuscripts, often contrasting with the solemn sacred texts on the pages, often weird or grotesque, and frequently rude or overtly sexual.Read more »
This year marks the 25th Blowout. The Bagpipe Society began in order to support the re-emergence of English piping in the ’80s. To me, the Saturday night Blowout concert reflects what is best about the state of piping in any one year. And then the bal afterwards shows how we keep up the quality and let our hair down at the same time. Last year, as I emerged from yet another incredible Saturday night concert, it struck me that these concerts demonstrate the maturity of the Bagpipe Society and its willingness to experiment.Read more »
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