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Burgess Hay: Reflections on Culloden, 275 years on

Burgess Hay: Reflections on Culloden, 275 years on

By Burgess Hay Today is the 275th anniversary of the Battle of Culloden. As I stand here beside, but not on, the windy moor, I find it impossible not to reflect on the winds of change that swept through highland society and through piping, in particular, in the months and […]

Dan Nevans: I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?

Dan Nevans: I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?

I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me? or The highland pipe and mid-20th century American collegiate basketball Please follow this link to Spotify to enjoy the playlist I have put together for you to enjoy while reading this article. (You will obviously need to have a Spotify […]

Stuart Letford: one picture, many stories

Stuart Letford: one picture, many stories

This is not a photo essay. Rather, it’s an essay on a photo, the one shown here. That said, the purpose of a photo essay is nothing if not a way to tell a story or evoke emotion from the viewers through a series of photographs. And I think there […]

Dan Nevans: I’ll just get my coat

Dan Nevans: I’ll just get my coat

I’ll just get my coat or Playing with your jacket on without losing your mind By Dan Nevans When you’re a teenager you are obsessed with fitting in. Being cool. Acceptance is the drug you need. Now in my 30s, I have realised that I am a roaster, I have […]

Finlay Frame: A good day’s piping

Finlay Frame: A good day’s piping

It doesn’t happen very often, especially in the climate we are in at the moment, but occasionally one of these days comes along: a good day’s piping. With so little to look forward to at the moment, sometimes the motivation to practice and work is born purely out of boredom. […]

Hamish Moore: It might lead to dancing

Hamish Moore: It might lead to dancing

I wonder if you have ever heard the old joke – “Why is the Free Kirk so opposed to sex before marriage?” Answer – “Because it might lead to dancing.” I am first going to make the assumption that everyone reading this regards the pipes as a musical instrument and […]

Stuart Letford: Bliadhna na Cobhid

Stuart Letford: Bliadhna na Cobhid

2020, Bliadhna na Cobhid (the Year of Covid to those unfamiliar with Gaelic), the year that almost all piping activity took place in front of a laptop or Smart phone. Where every competition or band practice began like a seance: “Hello? Can you hear me … can you hear me? […]

Yahya Hussein: Preparing to do our damndest in 2021

Yahya Hussein: Preparing to do our damndest in 2021

2020 was to be the year I made my first appearance for the Dunvegan Medal, for which I had been preparing mightily over the last three years. My four submissions are, out of interest, Lament for the Children, Lament for the Earl of Antrim, MacSwan of Roaig and Lament for […]

A simple framework for judging practice chanter competitions

A simple framework for judging practice chanter competitions

By Neill Mulvie Judging practice chanter competitions is fraught with danger. It is surprising how often the competitor’s tutor and even parents feel they themselves are being judged and some are not shy in letting the judge know when they are not happy with the result. And some can be […]