Today we still play a vast body of ‘traditional’ tunes that link us to people in the past; tunes that may have been composed by people who died hundreds of years ago, and we will never know their names. Other tunes are named after people about whom we may know little or nothing but their tunes still live on, and are cherished. This August I was staying with my friends Matt and Carolyn Buckley, in Richmond, Vermont, USA, when my wife Pat Skyped me to let me know that our friend Adrian had died.Read more »
Julian shares the secret of his favourite tuning tool: What is the wisest course of action if you find that there is one note on your chanter which sounds a wee bit flat? One approach to any problem in life is to ignore it and hope it just goes away. With bagpipes this can lead you into the bad habit of trying to raise the note by squeezing a bit harder which can cause other tuning problems.Read more »
Dear John I thought I would write in response to your editorial in the Autumn 2010 edition of Chanter about the falling membership of the Bagpipe Society. I joined in about 1998 purely by chance, after the former editor of Chanter invited me to a ‘Moot’ which was being held not far from my home. The reason he invited me was because he knew me through learning to play the northumbrian smallpipes and he thought I might be interested - an act of thoughtfulness for which I have been eternally grateful.Read more »
Iain Dall (“Blind John”) MacKay was both a poet and a piper and one of the finest composers in early Highland piping history. He was born in 1656 at Talladale, Gairloch. He was blind from a young age and spent seven years studying with the MacCrimmon’s in Skye. He carried the composition of pibroch to a high level and eleven pibrochs can be attributed to him; for example ‘Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon’.Read more »
Hi John, I hope all is well. I have been too busy getting married and honeymooned to know if I have missed the Chanter deadline… probably missed it by months…. so I am early for next one. Anyway here are some photos taken on June 19th of our wedding at Kinnersley Castle, Herefordshire - spot our President and various other known pipers. The Goodacre Brothers led the procession to our ceremony in the morning - John, Pete and John- FrancisRead more »
Two references to Italian bagpipers have been sent to me by Tony Laverick of The Lowland and Border Pipes’ Society. They are from Journal of a Country Curate. (Selections from the diary of Francis Kilvert 1870-1879) Published by The Folio Society 1977. Kilvert was the curate at Clyro in Radnorshire; a small village not far from Kinnersley, where Pat & I are getting married in June. Itinerant Italian Zampogna players were a common sight in the UK in the 19th century.Read more »
David Hockney carried out research at the very end of the 1990’s into certain painting techniques used by many of the ‘Old Masters’. I have no idea if this is widely known by instrument makers and researchers. It culminated in a lavish book published in 2001 entitled Secret Knowledge- Rediscovering the lost techniques of the Old Masters. I was first made aware of his research through a fascinating TV program that he made, which fortunately I videoed and have watched many times.Read more »
In this article, which is from the liner notes of Julians latest CD, Julian reflects on his relationship with the pipes he makes and considers where the inspiration comes for his tunes. There is something very special about playing one of my own tunes on a mouth blown set of pipes designed and made by myself from the wood of a tree I have known all my life. Each breath I take into my lungs is nourishing me and sustaining my life for the next few seconds.Read more »
In Feb 2008 I received this email: Hello, I am an English language and culture student at the University of Grenoble in the south of France. We have been given some research to do about jobs that are are directly connected to culture of the English speaking world. Particularly attached to Celtic culture I have decided to deal with typical Scottish craft. I am currently looking for an Scottish craftsman to give me an insight of what his job consist in, tell us about the skills it requires and so on ….Read more »
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