Imagining Three Greats: Animating Ross, McLennan & MacDonald

March 6, 2021 on 1:30 pm by Michael Grey | In Audio File, Photographs, Solo Piping, Video | No Comments

There’s a famous photo generally available online and everywhere (I suppose that’s redundant) of three of the most famous pipers of the twentieth century – if not all time. The photo is a post-WWI study of Pipe Major William “Willie” Ross, George S McLennan and John MacDonald (Inverness). You’ll likely know, MacDonald almost always gets an “Inverness” plugged on to his name due to the popularity, to this day, of the combination of given and surnames. Though, truth be told, he isn’t the only John MacDonald to ever call Inverness his home. But to pipers everywhere, when the name appears with the marker “(Inverness)” we know precisely the man mentioned: one of the greatest exponents of piobaireachd, one who left a great musical legacy thanks to a hugely impactful lifelong teaching effort.

An ancestry site I currently subscribe to offers all kind of membership bonuses. One is an array of apps to transform old pics. The latest app offered is one that animates your old photos. You know, one that brings your dead ancestors back to life. To test it out I plugged in one of my father. The result that follows is amazingly real – or real-ish. And slightly creepy. I’m not really sure what to make of it.

Have a look now at this century-old photo of three of our best known pipers. You can decide yourself if the animation is cool, creepy or, maybe, other-worldly.

M.

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