For many years one of my favourite bagpipe albums has been John Tose’s ‘Cerrig Dymuniad’ and it was with great excitement that I awaited the album from the band Estron, which features John’s piping and a similar approach to traditional Welsh tunes. Estron comprises John Tose - pibau cyrn, Danny Tose - also pibau cyrn, Micky Tose - ukulele and clarinet, Holly Robinson - fiddle, and Jess Ward - harp, it’s a great combination which suits the repertoire perfectly and gives the impression of a lively gathering of musicians, sharing tunes and enjoying the tradition.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 »
Double Bagpipes by John Tose. Cornish Double Bagpipes based on 16th century carving in Altarnun Church, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. In British churches there are many depictions of pipers playing bagpipes with two chanters, one for each hand. No instruments survive, but various makers have made working Double Bagpipes, including Julian Goodacre, John Tose and Jim Parr. Each double pipe sounds very different: some use closed fingering and have cylindrically-bored chanters, others open fingering and conical bores.Read more »
Pibau cyrn – Welsh bagpipe by John Tose. The Pibgorn is a Welsh reed-pipe (a kind of ‘bag-less’ bagpipe, if you will, similar to the Basque alboka), with a long history of use in Wales going back to the Middle Ages. There is a Pibgorn revival at present, and some makers have ‘re-bagged’ the pipe to recreate and revive the equally ancient Welsh Bagpipe. Unique amongst British pipes in having a single reed, Welsh Pibgorn Pipes tend to be in D, have an eight note scale, use open fingering and have a single drone on the shoulder.Read more »
Who performed in 2015: Trio Matta Rouch Balázs Istvánfi and András Németh Jon Swayne and Becky Price (Bal) Rohan Kriwaczek Paul Martin Chris Allen Dave Rowlands Andy Letcher John Tose Trio Matta Rouch Trio Matta Rouch Welcome to this talented trio of musicians and instrument makers, who have done so much to revive and sustain the music, traditions and instruments of the Occitan region of southern France.Read more »
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.Read more »
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