Japanese Cinema and Pipe Bands

February 17, 2011 on 6:46 pm by Michael Grey | In Humour, Music, Pipe Bands, Random Thoughts, Video | 3 Comments

Now there’s a subject line you probably never imagined.

I always thought those old cheesy Japanese movies from the 1950s might benefit from a little kick, a little something to give them a boost. I’m not talking Seven Samurai or Rashomon here, I’m talking about movies like those from the Godzillaand Mothra franchises (did they call ever call old movie serials “franchises”?).

Anyway, I thought how great it would be for one to snag a pipe band soundtrack, music to go along with the badly dubbed English.
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So You Want to Compete at the Big Games

March 28, 2010 on 6:14 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, Solo Piping, Video | 4 Comments

Thanks to the recent purchase of a video-to-digital box I’ve been able to post some ancient video. This particular sample presents as a fine demo of what it’s really like to compete at a big outdoor contest – in this case, The Argyllshire Gathering, Oban, Scotland. While this comes from 1991 (gulp) things haven’t changed and what you see is what you get.
Continue reading So You Want to Compete at the Big Games…

The Megantic Outlaw

March 14, 2010 on 12:45 pm by Michael Grey | In Pipe Bands, Video | 1 Comment

Here’s some vintage footage: The Megantic Outlaw medley from the 78th Fraser Highlanders’ 1992 “Live in Canada” concert.
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Joyeux Noël on Remembrance Day

November 11, 2009 on 10:25 am by Michael Grey | In Music, Video | Comments Off on Joyeux Noël on Remembrance Day

In honour of the day, here’s a short clip from a really good “war movie”, Joyeux Noël from 2005, based on the true stories of the World War I Christmas ceasefires along the Western Front. It’s one of those movies that uses bagpipes in a rare authentic way.
Continue reading Joyeux Noël on Remembrance Day…


June 20, 2009 on 10:36 am by Michael Grey | In Music, Pipe Bands, Tips, Video | 6 Comments

Idiomatica. A bit of a poncie sort of self-conscious name for a medley, isn’t it. But what fun to say – and play. I feel confident saying that the Toronto Police Pipe Band had a great, if not challenging, winter of practice shaping this puppy up (as Pete Aumonier might say). And If anyone had any doubt about the degree of serious intensity most of the pipe band world takes pipe band music you only have to look to the internet. Yikes. Reading a sampling of the voracious and sometimes downright bitter opinion Idiomatica elicited made me think the Toronto Police Pipe Band might’ve had a cheerier response had we marched on the field and pulled a Sinead (publically rip up a photo of the Pope). Either that or offer the world the 7,864th medley that starts with a marchpipe. Continue reading Idiomatica…

A Pipe Band for the Masses

May 18, 2009 on 5:56 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, Pipe Bands, Video | 5 Comments

Iain MacDonald passed along a youtube link at the end of the string of comments from the get-rid-of-the-über-boring-pipe-band-set post. Really, now. I think it deserves full front row centre treatment. It is marvelous.
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Tam O’Shanter Suite

February 23, 2009 on 9:12 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, Pipe Bands, Solo Piping, Stories, Video | 8 Comments

To this day the “Tam O’Shanter Suite” has been one of my most interesting and challenging projects.  The recording here, from “Shambolica!” and tarted up visually for youtube, was the first track I tackled when going about making the Shambolica! project happen.  The whole “Tam O’Shanter” experience (meaning my efforts to create this track) tapped in to over 30 musicians and two different studios.  In the end there were nine of us – and the track all recorded in one studio.  Continue reading Tam O’Shanter Suite…

A Lot of Fun Thanks to youtube

October 1, 2008 on 9:33 pm by Michael Grey | In Pipe Bands, Stories, Video | 13 Comments

The band had a lot of fun this season, or I think they did.  I know I did.  Stretchy music and youtube.com – what a combo.  Posts of our medley performances on the video site gave us waves of anonymous commentary; a sort of huge sputtering, spittley mouth-piece of amazingly passionate – and mostly vitriolic - comment.  Entertaining in the extreme for us.  I think of anonymous comment as entertainment and that with a bona fide signature as constructive.      
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Breton Pipe Bands

July 6, 2008 on 10:31 am by Michael Grey | In Music, Pipe Bands, Video | Comments Off on Breton Pipe Bands

Yoann Le Goff sent me this site this morning: a link to a video recording of the premier grade pipe band event at Menez Meur, held June 30, 2008.   I am sure you will enjoy this video, you can watch and it’s almost like you’re standing in the crowd on what looks like an overcast early summer’s day in Brittainy.  C’était un spectacle merveilleux.
Continue reading Breton Pipe Bands…

Bagpipe Hero (Video)

June 6, 2008 on 8:22 pm by Michael Grey | In Humour, Video | Comments Off on Bagpipe Hero (Video)

So, there is this sometimes funny CBC television show: “This Hour Has 22 Minutes”… anyway, over the years they’ve done Gaelic bits and the odd nod to Canadian Scots … but this is pretty good…

The truth of the matter, though: bagpipes, destined to be a perennial novelty.  🙁


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