An interesting collection of pipe tunes specifically set for duets of smallpipes and Border pipes has just been published. Airs for Piping Pairs has just been published by Matt Seattle, the well known Border piper from Hawick, Scotland. The book is pubilshed under his Dragonfly Music imprint.
Matt is well respected in bellows piping circles and is a prolific composer. He currently sits on the committee of the Lowland & Border Pipers’ Society (LBPS). He said: “For a long time I’d been thinking about compiling a duet book for nine-note chanters … Most of the tunes are from Lowland, Border and Northumbrian sources, some are well known, some less familiar, and some of the more familiar tunes are given in (what I consider) better versions than the widely available ones.”
The collection includes duets for tunes such as Jack Latin, Ode to Joy, Mary Scott, Linkumdoddie, Farewell to the Creeks and Teribus (the original setting from the 1730s) etc.
Matt Seattle, pictured below, is something of a living legend in the world of Scottish bellows piping. A passionate player of authentic Border piping, in 1997 he discovered the William Dixon manuscript of 1733 and published it immediately.
The William Dixon manuscript was compiled between 1733 and 1738 and is the oldest known manuscript of pipe music from the British Isles – and the most important source of music for the Border pipes. It is currently located in the A. K. Bell Library, Perth, Scotland.
Following Matt’s discovery and publishing of the book, the LBPS devoted an entire conference to the find and published the papers in book form (Out of the Flames).
Stuart Letford, Convenor of the LBPS, said: “Matt is quite possibly the most important player of Border pipe music alive today. This latest book from him will be seized upon by all pipers interested in this wonderful music with a view to playing in duets for enjoyment. The music and arrangements he has included are quite superb. Even the typesetting is top notch. It’s another cracking publication from Seattle!”
We hope to pubish a review of the book shortly.