Armstrong, Callum

A weekend with Callum and Matthias Dec 2019 in Chanter 2019 Winter

On the last weekend of October, about a dozen or more bagpipers turned up to a new course at Halsway Manor, taught by not one, but two young piping wizards: Callum Armstrong and Matthias Branschke promised to help us use bagpipes in an ensemble situation. On arrival, we were split into two groups depending on our choice of bagpipe: the group of G-pipes was the more numerous, with only 4-5 pipers selecting D border and Uillean pipes.

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25 Years of Blowout Saturdays Mar 2017 in Chanter 2017 Spring

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.

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On Saturday morning, just as people were arriving, Thodoris, one of the volunteers, walked up to me and whispered: “Wow! I had no idea Andy Letcher was such a rock star!” This is what the International Bagpipe Conference is about: putting faces to names (sometimes they look like proper rock stars), meeting new people, creating contacts and having a piping time. This year’s International Bagpipe Conference was held at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow.

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Blowout 2016 Mar 2016 in Chanter 2016 Spring

3rd to 5th June Savage Prunes (concerts, Saturday, Sunday) In 2015, the Savage Prunes won the ‘Petites Formations’ competition at ‘Le Son Continu’ music festival, since when they have expanded into a trio. The group is particularly influenced by European folk, as well as baroque, Celtic, jazz, techno, and classical music. Callum Armstrong is an innovative piper whose questing approach to the hitherto unexplored acoustic possibilities of the smallpipe is taking the instrument into areas most of us have never encountered.

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Experiments with Composing for a Bagpipe Duo Dec 2019 in Chanter 2019 Winter

Over the last few years I have enjoyed experimenting with bagpipes. My piping philosophy has been to always try to stick to what the bagpipe wants to do naturally, and then push the boundaries in all directions. Moreover, to ask myself what can a bagpipe do that other instruments cannot do so well. With this in mind, I decided to start a bagpipe duo, in order to experiment with the possibilities that two bagpipes could offer over just one solo bagpipe.

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Book Reviews Dec 2019 in Chanter 2019 Winter

Book: The Following Tunes (Volume I) by Callum Armstrong - Jon Swayne The Following Tunes (Volume I) by Callum Armstrong is a snapshot of this remarkable musician’s recent or not so recent bagpipe compositions. As he says in his introduction, its publication was in response to encouragement from friends and workshop participants. Its appearance will surely be welcomed by them. Such is the speed at which he responds to new stimulus in the way of instruments or playing partners, that it’s unlikely to be representative of the present state of affairs for very long, and soon they will be clamouring for Volume II.

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Blowout 2016 Jun 2016

Polesworth Abbey, near Tamworth, Staffs 3rd to 5th June Featuring Savage Prunes Juraj Dufek Estron MoltenAmba Jean Pierre Rasle Vicki Swan Sean Jones Cliff Stapleton Julian Scott Dave Rowlands Andy Letcher plus… The Friday Tune competition! Savage Prunes Callum Armstrong of the Savage Prunes The Savage Prunes are a young and innovative band from England, playing new compositions on traditional instruments. Having won the ‘Petit Formations’ competition at Le Son Continu 2015 as a duo, the ‘Prunes’ now exist as a trio.

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Blowout 2013 Jun 2013

Blowout 2013 – Our 21st! Were you there? Polesworth Abbey, near Tamworth, Staffs Friday 7th to Sunday 9th June Featuring Antón Varela trio Cliff Stapleton Callum Armstrong Vicki Swan Pete Stewart Heretique Tom Hughes Richard York Antón Varela (Concerts, workshops, Sat & Sun) Antón is one of Galicia’s top gaita players, who won some of the most important gaita competition prizes in the early stages of his career, which started in the seventies.

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