Commiting Music to Memory

April 30, 2007 on 7:55 pm by Michael Grey | In Tips | Comments Off on Commiting Music to Memory

Tradition along with the physical nature of the instrument makes performing pipe music with scores or manuscript a little difficult – and a real rarity.  Having said that I must confess almost any studio recording I do is always with score and stand.  So much more enjoyable.  So much easier.  The only time I can recall performing in public with manuscript in view was with “classical” musicians in the concert hall performance of John Beckwith‘s “A New Pibroch”. 
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Never Lose Your Passport

April 26, 2007 on 8:45 pm by Michael Grey | In Stories | 4 Comments

Around about now a lot of us are thinking of summer travel plans. Here’s a story you might find interesting (maybe even funny in that glad-it-didn’t happen-to-me sort of way). The story’s a reminder to take good care of your passport – especially when travelling in another country.
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Tips for a Novice Competing Piper of Any Age

April 24, 2007 on 8:05 pm by Michael Grey | In Tips | 2 Comments

I attended a Pipers’ & Pipe Band Society of Ontario adjudicator’s seminar on April 25 (the first day of 2007 where the weather was good, the sun shone and the temperature went above 15 degrees – perfect to sit indoors).

Lots of talk. Some discussion on the merits of providing tune selection guidelines for grade 4. This got me to thinking of other guidelines – tips, really. Here’s a few suggestions:

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Money for Nothing & Yer Music for Free

April 24, 2007 on 7:07 pm by Michael Grey | In Music | Comments Off on Money for Nothing & Yer Music for Free

The longer I’m in this game the more I’m convinced sheet music should be free (I’m not 100% convinced … but thinking seriously about the prospect). Hell, it’s all over the internet anyway, free as a church.

In June Jim McGillivray will be launching what sounds like an outstanding project: a repository of bagpipe music and associated mp3s all online – all for sale. I’m supporting this.

In the meantime, I will be posting gratis pages from my books. Here’s the first few: at the bottom of the Goodies page.

I’m sure this subject will come up again (and again).

Nine Blasted Notes Again

April 22, 2007 on 6:51 pm by Michael Grey | In News | 1 Comment

A quick note to say Nine Blasted Notes is repressed and available again. Legal downloading is increasingly becoming a reality – even for those of us in the niche world of Skirling-eCeltic-World-Electro-Folk music. So, keeping the CDs going is always a think-twice sort of decision.

A friend of mine recently proclaimed 9BN the worst album cover he’d ever seen (yes, a friend said that … we call that the “gift of feedback”). I asked to see all his album covers to get a better idea of how they should look; alas, non to see.

I was glad the cover caused such a response – now that’s art baby!

Advice for today: before sending any copy to production have it proofed a few times by reliable eyes. This pressing of 9BN has the unfortunate original spine typo [“Michael Gey”] corrected. First edition of anything – always a collector’s item.

Good People in a Small World

April 18, 2007 on 10:08 am by Michael Grey | In News | 1 Comment

I don’t know if it’s the case with all musicians but I can tell you that when it’s bagpipes you play a person gets to meet a lot of good and interesting people. Last August I attended the Lorient Festival in Brittainy. Maybe I’ll have a chance to pass along some of what I learned there – and that year – about Breton music (and how not to lose your passport in France). Anyway, I met loads of people including the famed Denis brothers, Loic and Armel and fellow Breton piper, Patricia Riou. It was through Pat that I connected with Yoann Le Goff, also a Breton piper (of course). Yoann lives in Connecticut right now making his way in the businesses of technology and piping. It’s thanks to his good work and ability that this site was developed. A huge sincere thanks to Yoann.

So, here I’m hoping to pass along some of the stuff I’ve learned over the years about music, bagpipes – I don’t mean to suggest the two are unrelated – and anything else I think is of any value to anyone. At the very least I’ll have an excuse to practice my keyboarding.

Btw, have a look at Yoann’s international directory of musicans – and sign up!

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