Battle of the Birds

January 12, 2015 on 6:45 pm by Michael Grey | In Humour, Photographs, Random Thoughts, Stories | No Comments

The desperate battle of the birds. And, no, not a rare Friday night girl-fight, and no talk of the pibroch generally known by that name; a few words this moment on fighting flying feathered creatures.
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Piping Today Magazine – “Grey’s Notes”: Found! Willie and Johnny’s personal text messages

December 30, 2014 on 8:18 am by Michael Grey | In From Piping Today Mag, Humour | No Comments

GREAT things surely do come from some of the most unlikely places. And last month in the heart of the Black Isle a truly great happening came to be.

A dusty box of old electrics was uncovered in the back of a North Kessock antiques shop. The box, full of old transistor radios, fax machines and BlackBerry phones (or, more specifically, the early Scots version, the BlaeBerry), festooned with cobwebs and assorted muck, turned out to be a find of historic netherlornic proportions.
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HBD Hector MacDonald

December 1, 2014 on 4:46 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Stories | Comments Off

A photograph today: In honour of Hector MacDonald and his milestone birthday this week. And with it a nice bit of video here showing a little of Constable MacDonald’s other non-piping talents.
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Three Deep Breaths (A Kiwi Tip)

November 20, 2014 on 9:21 pm by Michael Grey | In News, Stories, Tips | Comments Off

A piece of advice I remember time and again is that which came to me through the thoughtfulness of the great New Zealand piper, Gold Medallist, John Hanning. Early in my career, while I was recitalling through the north and south islands of NZ, he passed along his recipe for performance steadiness; that is, his final personal prep for ensuring he didn’t unduly contribute to the filling up of the laundry basket.
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Rare Photo and Video: G S McLennan

October 29, 2014 on 6:02 pm by Michael Grey | In Delightful Data of the Day, Music, News, Photographs, Solo Piping, Stories, Video | 1 Comment

Back in June I wrote a little about the recently posted Pathé film footage of the great Highland dancer, Mary Aitken. Among many other good things, she was the namesake for a fine bagpipe tune, the jig “Mary Aitken”.
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Piping Today Magazine – “Grey’s Notes”: A band, a team, is not a thing. It’s people.

October 26, 2014 on 2:05 pm by Michael Grey | In From Piping Today Mag, Pipe Bands, Tips | Comments Off

If you want to make a fast million, forget trying to invent the perfect set of drones or never-fail chanter reed, like, say, a possible brand like the SkweelAway or, maybe, the NaySkirl2000. If you’re looking for fast coin to roll in hard and fast, figure out a way to build the perfect team — and sell it. The business world is reeking with countless people, companies and websites touting answers-for-a-fee to the forever-old question: how to create a great team. Now that’s where the money is.
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Piping Today Magazine – “Grey’s Notes”: Seven Deadly Sins

October 5, 2014 on 7:48 am by Michael Grey | In From Piping Today Mag, Solo Piping, Stories, Tips | Comments Off

One of the people I teach, a young guy, about 17, is mad as hell about piping. He eats it up. Loves the tunes, loves to play. He’s crazy about piping — a lot like you maybe. I can tell you he’s definitely a lot like me. He’s the guy that rode around the town where we both live the other weekend in the back of a convertible, with the top down, while playing tunes on the pipes. Top down, breeze blowing, sun shining, chicks (apparently) loving it. This guy has it going on.
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Field of Drones

September 17, 2014 on 8:11 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Random Thoughts | Comments Off

I was out for a bike ride around where I live this evening and could’ve sworn I heard pipes coming from the corn fields.
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Advice to Pipe Majors (from Madonna)

September 2, 2014 on 5:27 pm by Michael Grey | In Pipe Bands, Tips | Comments Off

It strikes me that when we look for fresh eyes on a problem and a new way of tackling a challenge, it’s not always such a bad thing to look for insight – if not answers – from places beyond the usual. For pipe bands this is New Years; the competitive season is over (for those of us in the Northern hemisphere) and so a new pipe band day dawns. And for Pipe Majors – the hardest working people in the pipe band world – it’s the time of year where reflection is deep and decision-making and planning can take a lot of energy.

So why not look to Madonna for answers? “Why not”, I say!
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Piping Today Magazine – “Grey’s Notes”: Dear Old Glasgow Town

August 19, 2014 on 5:17 pm by Michael Grey | In From Piping Today Mag, Humour, Music, Pipe Bands, Stories | Comments Off

You know you’re a seriously regular visitor to Glasgow when someone stops you on the street, asks for directions and you can help — and with mostly reliable info. It’s the last Friday of the Commonwealth Games and thanks to years (and years) of tramping the streets of the city, I did my bit as a sort of on-again off-again local and helped two ladies from London find their way to the bowls. I was tempted to ask them why they were interested in lawn bowling — a snoozefest to me — but then, had they known I was something of a keen piper, they’d been in their rights to ask the same: “Piping! What’s That For?” When it comes to human colour the place is unconditionally iridescent.
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