2018

Grace Notes Aug 2018 in Chanter 2018 Summer

Jane Moulder The months and years seem to swing by in an instant (is this me getting old?) and I’m writing this with less than a month to go before the Blowout but my mind is already racing ahead to my annual pilgrimage to Le Son Continu. 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of my first attending the festival. Back in 1988 my exposure to bagpipes had been fairly limited and mainly consisted of the Scottish, Irish and Northumbrian varieties and, through listening to David Munrow recordings, I had some awareness of medieval and renaissance bagpipes.

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Grace Notes Feb 2018 in Chanter 2018 Spring

Jane Moulder Whilst writing this, I am looking out of my window at the snow falling down and thinking that it really would be great to go to Mallorca for the International Bagpipe Organisation conference in March! Sadly I can’t because of other commitments but whilst it may now be very short notice, if you can spare the time, then do see if you can find a last minute cheap flight as it really does look like bagpipe heaven to me!

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Grace Notes Jun 2017 in Chanter 2018 Autumn

Jane Moulder Just a few brief comments from me this quarter as there is a pretty full edition for you. My quest to explore and feature some lesser known bagpipes continues with the Lithuanian bagpipe taking centre stage. Still relatively unknown in its native homeland, its resurgence is in the hands of a very small group of people who are working hard to bring the instrument back to the fore.

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Säckpipa Workshop Weekend Aug 2018 in Chanter 2018 Summer

Fourteen of us got together to play Säckpipa in the deepest depths of ‘sleepy’ Somerset. There were 12 workshop participants, one who had travelled from Belgium, the rest from all over the UK. This first weekend for the Säckpipa was led by the talented multi-instrumentalists Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer. Four were relative beginners, mainly working with Jonny in the library, while the more experienced players were led by Vicki in the Long Room.

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Bagpipers at the Tudor Court Feb 2018 in Chanter 2018 Spring

We bagpipers are aware that our instrument has a long heritage, in England and elsewhere. We know of times and places where the instrument has been fashionable, indeed aristocratic, yet at other times it has been little more than a beggar’s instrument. Using Andrew Ashbee’s multi-volume “Records of English Court Music”, the account books show that our instrument was held in high regard by our Tudor monarchs, and its players were on a par with performers on viols, violins, shawms, sackbuts and trumpets.

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Blowout 2018 - 1st to 3rd June Feb 2018 in Chanter 2018 Spring

Have we got a programme for you! Eric Montbel ZampogneriA Jane and Eric Moulder Terry Mann Paul Roberts Steve Tyler and Katy Marchant Pat Goodacre plus … The Friday Tune competition!! Eric Montbel (Sat, Sun concerts, workshops plus Saturday Bal) As a musician, collector, ethnomusicologist, teacher, composer, publisher and co-founder of Modal Magazine, the influence of Eric Montbel on the revival of the French bagpipes and their repertoire cannot be overstated and it is a great honour to welcome him back to the Blowout, after far too long an absence.

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Fourth International Bagpipe Conference Feb 2018 in Chanter 2018 Spring

Bagpipers 9-11 March 2018, Palma, Mallorca, Spain Tired of rainy, grey days? Why not join us in March at the fourth International Bagpipe Conference in Palma, Mallorca. We will be celebrating International Bagpipe Day 2018 (10 March) with our regular biennial conference in Mallorca, where there is a rich and unbroken piping tradition. Supported by the Bagpipe Society, the LBPS as well as the Mallorcan government, the Council for tourism, the town of Palma, the Council for culture and the town of Sóller, we have a full programme of piping activities prepared.

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Blowout Report 2018 Jun 2017 in Chanter 2018 Autumn

Now we’ve been at Polesworth for so long it’s like stepping into an alternative world when you get to the Blowout. It’s all so familiar and comforting. It changes subtly though, as witness the new toilets in the Hall. The local folk who run the Hall have indeed upgraded the building significantly. More important, though, is seeing all the familiar faces, especially Vanessa working on dinner! As is the custom, we had some light-hearted competitions after dinner to get us into the mood.

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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.

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I’m Sorry I Haven’t Got a Bagpipe Feb 2018 in Chanter 2018 Spring

The Friday competition is one of the many annual highlights of The Blowout. However there has often been the suggestion that it has an unfair bias towards those persons who own, or can actually play, a bagpipe. To redress this situation the June 2018 competition has been devised with two special classes that can be entered by more normal persons. One Tune to The Tune of Another. (Open to bagpipers) Each contestant has 3 minutes to attempt to play one tune to the tune of another on the bagpipes.

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Bagpiping – Always in the margins? Jun 2017 in Chanter 2018 Autumn

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.

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Further Adventures of the Wandering Piper Jun 2017 in Chanter 2018 Autumn

A few years back, I wrote a long article in Chanter about a sensation reported across Britain between 1829 and 1839. This was the case of a wandering piper, a mystery gentleman of means who was travelling the land playing bellows blown pipes to collect money for charitable cases. There was much speculation about who he was and his motivation, both of which were eventually revealed, but it also gave us plenty of clues about some bagpipes of that time.

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In the bag Aug 2018 in Chanter 2018 Summer

David is a musician who plays pipes and various other things. He has played the pipes, in some form or another, for about for 30 years now. He plays with Zephyrus, The Eelgrinders, the Faulkner Turner Duo and other occasional bands for ceilidhs etc. David enjoys researching repertoire, writing and arranging music, running bagpipes courses and making lots of noise. He “Calls” and teaches dancing. He has worked as a community musician for 18 years and in his spare time enjoys cooking and digging the allotment.

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The Rosca: Part Two Aug 2018 in Chanter 2018 Summer

In the first part of the article, Pablo Carpintero introduced the Rosca pipe and here, in part two, he continues his journey of exploration, reaching back into the history of both the Rosca and the bagpipe itself. Rosca related bagpipes in Iberian medieval iconography Fig. 21 Colegiata de Toro, Assuming that cylindrical or square tubes were, as a rule, furnished with single reeds, we found in northwestern medieval iconography some bagpipes very similar to the rosca.

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The Bagpipe Map Revisited Feb 2018 in Chanter 2018 Spring

Part of the old rood-screen (15thC) at St Leonard’s Church, Ribbesford, Herefordshire, England The Bagpipe Map was officially launched at the International Bagpipe Conference In Glasgow in March 2016, at which point it contained around 35 items with many more awaiting uploading. This total rose to around 140 during the following eighteen months or so. Since then it has gone into recuperation mode, though a new separate map has been introduced containing details of carvings of Pipe and Tabor players in the UK, and one or two tentative ventures across to mainland Europe have been made.

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Pewter Inlay on the Boha Jun 2017 in Chanter 2018 Autumn

During an extensive historical survey of the boha, the bagpipe of the Gascon lands, we came across a large number of examples which displayed the craft of pewter inlay. This article will illustrate the technique previously described in Chanter Winter 2016 by Pascal Petiprez from the COMDT (Toulouse-France). It will show what the study revealed about the different uses of pewter in boha design and also show some of the various applications on the instruments.

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The Burton Agnes Bagpiper Aug 2018 in Chanter 2018 Summer

I have long been familiar with the image of the female bagpiper at Burton Agnes Hall in East Riding of Yorkshire. I can remember being absolutely wowed by it the first time a friend showed me a photograph of the alabaster carving which she had found in a book on Elizabethan and Jacobean architecture. For me, this one carving scored on a number of levels: it was a bagpiper, it was a FEMALE bagpiper and it was Elizabethan.

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In the Bag Feb 2018 in Chanter 2018 Spring

Meira Segal Meira Segal was born at 1986 in Israel. Her love to music started in childhood when she started playing recorders but when she was 18 she discovered the reed flute, or Ney, on one of her travels to the Sinai Desert. She started playing both Turkish and Arabic ney but over the years she has added the Bulgarian Kaval, Egyptian Kawla and agpipes were added to her repertoire.

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The Rosca Feb 2018 in Chanter 2018 Spring

*Photography by Pablo Carpintero and Alba Vázquez Carpenter * Pablo Carpintero is an ethnomusicologist, musician, maker and researcher into Galician culture. A biologist by training, he has a PhD in science and was a professor of biochemistry at the University of Santiago. He has been a UNESCO consultant working for two years on the committee for Intangible Cultural Heritage and also in the Spanish Ministerio de Cultura committee for ICH. He is a member of the Association of Gaiteiros Galegos and directs a group who specialize in Galician musical traditions: A Requinta de Xian.

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The bagpipe in Lithuania was first mentioned in “The History of Northern Nations” written by Swedish historian Magnus Olaus, printed in 1555. In the same year the pipers (bear trainers) who had to be taxed were mentioned in the letter written by Žygimantas, the Duke of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and in 1565 the instrument was mentioned in the decrees of Vilnius Seimas. In a small dictionary for the translation of Bible (1580) it was written that “pipe is made of horn” or “murenka”, which is translation from the German word “sackpfeife”.

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This article has been edited to be spread over two editions. In this first instalment, Michael explores the modern revival of bagpipes in Austria and in the Autumn edition of Chanter, he will feature the current makers of the instrument. Part One: A bagpipe? In Austria? 1756: Carnival “Here comes the Peasant Wedding (…) It also has a bagpipe and a hurdy-gurdy in it.” Thus Leopold Mozart described his most recent work to his publisher in 1756.

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Decoration or Function? Feb 2018 in Chanter 2018 Spring

A fontanelle on a tenor shawm As researchers and instrument makers of historical instruments, Eric and I have to gather information and inspiration from as many sources as possible. In our field of renaissance double reed woodwind instruments, it is fortunate that there are still some extant examples, albeit in museum collections which may or may not have been well cared for over the last few centuries.

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I first came across the Swedish bagpipe (säckpipa in Swedish) in 1990, when I was staying with my friend Joachim von Usslar in Hamburg. We had met on the London College of Furniture’s Early Woodwind course and, several years after we finished, I went to work with him for a month in his basement workshop. Jo had become a fantastic street entertainer and found the living much better than being a maker, so he employed me to do some turning to complete some orders, even though I hadn’t set up as a maker myself at that point and hadn’t turned anything for three years.

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CD Review: Molten Amba – Slide to the Side Aug 2018 in Chanter 2018 Summer

They say that timing is everything! Jane had sent me this CD for review a few weeks previously but I first listened to it on one of those glorious sunny and warm April days we’ve had this year. I should really have been outside, but found myself with a rather tedious administrative job to complete. So, bound to be inside to prevent my papers from flying about, I decided that was the morning to listen to Molten Amba.

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CD Review Jun 2017 in Chanter 2018 Autumn

Ars Supernova – Les Haulz et Les Bas From time to time you get a CD that doesn’t want to leave the CD player. Ars Supernova by Les Haulz et Les Bas is one such CD. I often leave the summary to the end of my reviews, but let me encourage you to go out and buy this wonderful CD. This is great music, with intriguing combinations of instruments and arrangements, and glorious playing.

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