Articles by: Montbel, Eric

The Sourdeline of Manfredo Settala Part 2 Sep 2015 in Chanter 2015 Autumn

In the first part of this article (Chanter, Summer 2015) I wrote about the discovery of a painting, dated 1640, attributed to Carlo Francesco Nuvolone. The painting depicts Manfredo Settala (1600-1680) with his “sourdeline”, a complex Italian bagpipe of the 17th century (fig. 1). This important painting reveals several facts about the personality of the ingenious scholar of Milan. In this second part we will look at the technical knowledge that we can gain about the sourdeline, and its place in the European family of wind instruments from the 17th and 18th centuries.

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Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan. Cortile degli spiriti magni. If there is one place I love above all in Italy, it is the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan. People come from around the world for the famous paintings of Leonardo, Caravaggio and Boticelli, but also for the strange and fascinating wonders gathered in this venerable house which was established by Cardinal Borromeo in 1611. Here there is a shrine enclosing a lock of blond hair from the beautiful Lucrezia Borgia as well as shells, beads and curious objects : this museum keeps the spirit of the «cabinets of curiosity» (or wunderkammer) of the Renaissance.

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La Gitane Jun 2012 in Chanter 2012 Summer

This edition is from our archives, so it is presented as scanned pages rather than text. You may need to scroll to find the article you’re looking for.

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La Bourree d'Aragon Jun 2001 in Chanter 2001 Summer

This edition is from our archives, so it is presented as scanned pages rather than text. You may need to scroll to find the article you’re looking for.

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Letters and notices Sep 2021 in Chanter 2021 Autumn

Dear Jane, I have recently acquired a set of Jon Swayne pipes and joined the BagSoc. I am keen to learn as much as I can about my new pastime so I have been working my way through all the online back issues of The Chanter and I’ve enjoyed every edition. I am now wondering whether BagSoc members have a list of favourite books on bagpipes they could recommend. It would be interesting to all your readers to learn which books on piping have had the biggest impact on other readers of The Chanter.

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Settala’s Sordellina: Steps in Reconstruction Feb 2021 in Chanter 2021 Spring

You may remember that the sourdeline, or sordellina in Italian, is a scholarly bagpipe, with bellows, equipped with two, three or four chanters, invented and played in Italy between the 16th and the 17th century. This fantastic bagpipe has been the subject of several recent studies and proposals for its reconstruction. Here is the account of our research, construction and bringing back to life the sordellina inspired by Manfredo Settala1 (1600-1680, Milano).

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The Story Behind the Carnet de Notes Dec 2021 in Chanter 2021 Winter

In 2007, we published, in association with CRMT Limousin, the first edition of a book which brought together 200 melodies for the chabrette limousine, as well as for other bagpipes from Central France. The melodies were, for the most part, traditional. The “Carnet de Notes” was immediately successful and it sold out in a few months and it has since become a real collector’s item.

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Gaspard de Gueidan by Hyacinthe Rigaud Nov 2018 in Chanter 2018 Winter

If you have the opportunity to travel to Aix-en-Provence do not miss the chance to admire the magnificent painting “Portrait de Gaspard Gueidan en joueur de musette”, exhibited at the Granet Museum in the old Provençal capital. This painting is well known to all bagpipe lovers, almost as much as the portrait of “Langlois playing musette” by Van Dyck, which is in London. I have been visiting Provence since my childhood where I have family connections, and I have lived there for 20 years: but no trace of a popular bagpipe tradition has ever been reported to me, except of course the zampognari of Lazzio who came to play for Christmas.

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In the Bag - Eric Montbel Dec 2021 in Chanter 2021 Winter

From 1975 Eric Montbel recorded the old cabrette players in Paris and Auvergne, and reissued the 78rpm recordings of the master Bouscatel. His research on “chabrettes limousines” allowed him to discover nearly 130 old models and to initiate the revival. Eric was one of Bernard Blanc’s first “musettes 14 and 16 pouces” players, and contributed to their distribution with his groups Le Grand Rouge and then Lo Jai. He toured intensively in the USA and Europe.

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Tunes from the Blowout Nov 2018 in Chanter 2018 Winter

Eric Montbel led two great workshops at the Blowout last May and here is the music of two of the tunes that were played.

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