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The value of a picture

The value of a picture

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #60, 2012. We live in the most documented world there ever was: everyone has a digital camera and everyone uses it. Not just that, almost everyone leaves their easily-seen fingerprints all over the internet for their friends to see, for their families to […]

For love nor money

For love nor money

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #59, 2012. What makes us do what we do? Cross a street with the red man aglow, hold the door open for someone, jump the queue at an airport check-in? We might be in a rush, we might just love people — or […]

The rose-tinted glasses of time

The rose-tinted glasses of time

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #58, 2012. There’s one sure thing about being involved in the piping game: there’s never a shortage of memory-making material. The bagpipe seems to have a way of finding the centre of the most percolating social action. Or maybe it’s the pipes that […]

An extrasensory sense of place

An extrasensory sense of place

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #57, 2012. It seems to me that the more we visit a place and the more we get to know it, the stronger are our feelings for that place. It dovetails, maybe, that the deeper our memories connect with a place then the […]

Playing the parrot blame game

Playing the parrot blame game

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #56, 2012. One way psychologists have been known to test how word meanings are stored in a person’s memory is by word association. In a word association test, a person is given a word and asked to respond with the first word that […]

Salute to the old-school time shifters

Salute to the old-school time shifters

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #55, 2011. I’ve always thought John D. Burgess came as close as anyone to the title of ‘maestro’. Burgess was surely a true artist of consummate skill and not without a hint of charm and eccentric personal colour thrown in for good measure. […]

The Scottish Parish of Piping

The Scottish Parish of Piping

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #53, 2011. It’s that time of year when Scotland is especially magnetic for travellers. Games season, the big pipe band championships and August’s Piping Live! festival all do their bit to attract pipers and drummers from all over. I was 20 when I […]

Give (new) music a chance

Give (new) music a chance

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #54, 2011. When a brand gets to be used as a verb you know the product is a popular, if not powerful, thing: “Facebook me when you’re done practicing your birls” and “Great idea about twice-through pipe band MSR contests, I’m gonna Twitter […]

Lorient mornings … and evenings!

Lorient mornings … and evenings!

By Tom Johnstone The Festival Interceltique Lorient – ‘Interceltic Festival of Lorient’ in English – takes place next month from August 2-11 in the Breton town of that name. It is 10 days and 10 nights of wonderful Celtic music, shows and events. I have been the Scottish Delegate for […]

What Motown can teach pipers

What Motown can teach pipers

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #53, 2011. It seems like the more stuff there is on TV and the more channels there are available, the less there is to watch. This way of things has made me an impatient channel-clicker: two seconds on that show, nine on the […]