Tag Archive: Piping


Okay, that depressed me – I’ve dipped below 80% officially.

Ouch.  Next week I know I can’t do 3 days [so that’ll make it 96/125]

Anyways… needing to regroup.  Holy smokes.

Chris left us for Iglusiak.  Steve dropped a bomb on us and is moving to Barrie.

2 solid people that will be missed from band.  That in itself should be enough to give pause.

But I’m starting to be overwhelmed.  And not just because I’m still suffering from the Thanksgiving Day celebrations where I ‘gobbled ’till I wobbled’ [as a good friend put it].

The week for work has been steadily increasing in work to get done.  Just as I was getting content that several of them were finishing up, more are around the corner.

Back to the band, we have 14 new students.  Some more active than others, but in all I had 12 last night.  Thankfully Pete and Al are in and helping, and so is Eric.  Just don’t want to juggle too many things.  And several of the students show real promise, so hopefully in another year I won’t be too upset about the leavings of a member.

On that note, good to see a new face at the Bayfield trip – Wyeth has started to come out.

What else?

Teaching – well, didn’t get that job.  Got some good feedback – will have to go and rethink on some of it.

The next online piping competition has been announced.  I’m kinda stoked as I’m starting to learn a couple piobaireachds, and I’m really excited to get playing more.  Plus I was just asked to play with somebody as another stretch of my playing ability.  Thanks for the recommendation Pierre.

It’s that time of year where we start planning what will our winter be like [in the old days you had to store everything up properly – don’t do it right and you starved by January].  So, I’ve been given some thoughts to where to go from here.  Not that this is a ‘junction’ by any means, but I really have to think about long term implications and the actions done today and how they have ramifications on that.

Nothing is as straightforward as it used to be.  I guess that’s what being ‘grown up’ is all about.  I’m not lamenting, if anything I’m excited by a lot of what’s out there and possibilities and potentials.

[neat point of interest – this is the first post I’ve done via the Blogger… I may just switch from WP]

 

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Growing experiences

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So I guess I should write something about having played with the symphony.
It really was a great experience. I wrote a while ago bout when I played with them previously, but that was for playing Scottish style medley; my style kinda thing, this time it was definitely a symphony deal.

The piece of music chosen was a Peter Maxwell Davies piece – Orkney Wedding, with sunrise. Anyhow, it called for an actual concert A chanter. The piece seemed easy enough, but it was the hardware that was to be the issue.

Turns out a guy I met in Macalester had one, and had even played the piece before. Small world. So he rented it to the symphony and sent it on up. I spent most of the time learning to play the piece properly. From the mp3 that Arthur sent me, it was only 90 seconds. I should be able to handle that right?

It was pretty simple. Right up until I had the hardware. I didn’t give it much thought, which was a mistake. Turns out the chanter was all sorts of fun.

The drones he sent were just set weird, the balance of pressure made it hard for the chanter, but easy for the drones. This meant that the drones would have to be WIDE open in order to play, which meant it sucked and lot of air. Couple that with the fact the drone reeds wouldn’t fit in my stocks because of the ash plugs so I had to put together a set hastily (with much much help from Rory – seriously, without him the whole thing would have sucked majorly).

So aside from some hardware issues, there wasn’t much else for difficulties. I did have trouble counting out where it was that I started, thankfully Stephane was there to give me my cues. It was really good in the end. I would tune for a minute then rest for about fifteen. Without a moisture control system the pipes would get soaked super easy.

When I was cued to go on I was quite nervous. But, as they say, you aren’t measured by how well you do in your best scenarios, but by how you handle yourself when the going gets tough.

My piece was kinda neat. It was explained that the score is set up as 3 parts: getting together, getting drunk celebrating and then the sobering sunrise. That’s when I step out and signify the rising sun in the morning. From what people who were there (including my parents, but they might be biased) it was a pleasant surprise and sounded really good. Apparently it was also in the paper, but I can’t find it.

All are part of growing up really. But not just aging, but growing in ability and diversity of my skills.

I had been feeling really bit of a funk for a while with my piping – being pipe major can do that. But I didn’t think I was really progressing… but thanks to Pierre Schreyer for the recommendation to play, it has pushed me.

Couple that with the last weekend’s activities in Winnipeg and I’m ready to be excited about playing again.

I’ll save the discussion about the SFU weekend for another blog post.

*note: that’s not a picture of me, I didn’t have any, but I’m sure it looked like that!