This is the second video in the set. This time the march, strathspey and reel, ‘Brig. Ronald Cheape of Tiroran’, ‘Blair Drummond’ and ‘Charlie’s Welcome’.
You can learn a lot from the old tapes, the old recordings. You can hear what’s changed and what hasn’t. The sound of bands has come a way in 20 years. The size of bands, too (this band: 11 pipers, 6 snares, 2 tenor drums and bass).
I’ve been thinking a lot about the current phenomenon of what is now called the “mid section”. More later.
Things (and people) Gaelic have always interested me. I’ve had a sense of (or is that for?) “Gaelicness” as long as I can remember. My dad’s mum, Margaret McBain came from Creagorry, a small place in Benbecula – also a small place in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. She was a great lady and a real favourite of mine. She would be the one who quietly slipped a fiver in my hand (one she really couldn’t spare) with a whispered, “don’t tell your father”. Who wouldn’t love that?
So, when it comes to bagpipe music, it’s “all technique all the time”. With nine notes, no rests, no sharps, no flats, no dynamics, technique is pretty much all we have to create rhythm. We’re not so big on understated embellishments.
That’s “dating” as in determing their age (anything else is just wierd!). Anyway, there are loads of ways of figuring out the age of your pipes. Some modern makers make it really easy and stamp the date of manufacture on a small area of the instrument. But, really, it is the old, antique pipes where there’s as much art as science in the process of assessing age.