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”.
Continue reading Rare Photo and Video: G S McLennan…

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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Chris Hadfield: Space Oddity

May 13, 2013 on 5:31 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, Random Thoughts, Video | Comments Off

I really like this. At first, I thought cheesy. Then I gave my head a shake.
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MyVote: Cool App or Seriously Seditious?

August 30, 2012 on 5:07 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, News, Pipe Bands, Random Thoughts | Comments Off

Earlier in the summer pipes|drums was one of the first news outlets to announce the launch of Kenny Constable‘s free MyVote app. Since then the app is getting loads of play – and use – from keeners around the pipe band world.
Continue reading MyVote: Cool App or Seriously Seditious?…

The Secret to Making Good Music: “This Boy Needs More Practice”

May 1, 2012 on 6:57 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, Solo Piping, Stories, Tips | 2 Comments

Just so there’s no suspense on this one; the secret to making good music is simple: It’s practice.

We’re coming up to the bagpipe competition season and everyone who aims to seriously take part is hard at it trying to make the best music they can.
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It’s Free! Michael Grey Book 5: Music for Everyone

January 23, 2012 on 10:05 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, Pipe Bands, Solo Piping | 5 Comments

Here you go: my fifth book of music, “Music for Everyone”. First published in 2006.
Continue reading It’s Free! Michael Grey Book 5: Music for Everyone…

Alex MacMillan: It’s a Small World

January 10, 2012 on 10:29 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, Photographs, Solo Piping, Stories | Comments Off

“It’s a small world” must be one of the most often said bromides in the English language. But, surely for a reason: it is a small world. The top-of-the-small-world-pops in my family belongs to the story of my younger sister and her husband.

Here’s the scoop: After meeting and date number three or so they start talking a little about their families. He says to her something like, “my Mum’s family comes from a little place in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland: Benbecula”. “Yikes”, thinks my sister – or something like that. That’s where my father’s mother comes from!
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Gaelic College Fiddles with the Great Highland Bagpipe

December 14, 2011 on 12:50 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, News, Whinges | Comments Off

Cape Breton is surely a beautiful part of the world – in the summer, anyway. I’ve spent a good few summer weeks in the past teaching at the Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts in St. Ann’s. Happy times, for sure, with a hundred kids or so running up and down the hills with their chanter and pipes and plans aplenty for pranking (mostly) suspecting teaching staff. Though “from away”, as they say in CB, my time at the GC gifted me some truly great memories, lifelong friends and some modest insight into how things “go” in that part of the world.
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(Tunes for) Summertime

July 1, 2011 on 1:53 pm by Michael Grey | In Audio File, Music, Solo Piping | 2 Comments

Here’s a few tunes to help while away your day – a holiday if you live in Canada.

Here’s me playing my solo spot at the May 21, Toronto Police Pipe Band show at the el Mocambo club in Toronto.
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Copyright this Way

April 5, 2011 on 6:45 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, News, Pipe Bands, Solo Piping, Tips | 4 Comments

A week or so ago I led a talk at the annual judge’s meeting of the Pipers’ & Pipe Band Society of Ontario. The day’s always a good one. At the very least it’s a great gathering of old friends and acquaintances and at it’s best its a really insightful exchange of ideas and perspectives.

Anyway, my bit was a comparative look at pipe band ensemble. I checked out competitive orchestras – yes, they do compete – American high school concert bands and British brass bands. I learned a lot in my seeking out of information related to other competitive musical worlds. For instance, I can now tell you with great certainty that it’s scarily, freakishly and jaw-droppingly amazing how close the British brass band world mirrors that of the pipe band. Maybe a blab for another day.
Continue reading Copyright this Way…

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