Blog

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 […]

Donald W. G. Lindsay – piping on another planet, part 2

Donald W. G. Lindsay – piping on another planet, part 2

In my first ‘Piping on Another Planet’ blog back in February, I gave a brief introduction to Ascension Island and discussed some of mine and my son, Ryall’s plans for the recording of our album, Mars Bay, a collection of themes developed from field recordings of the island’s sea birds, […]

Angus MacKay on trousers, life and God

Angus MacKay on trousers, life and God

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #68, 2014. Angus MacKay. He’ll be known, at least by name, to many of you. Born on September 10, 1813 — under the astrological sign of Virgo — on Raasay, an island off the north-west coast of Scotland, he was to become one […]

Stuart Letford: a sense of déjà vu

Stuart Letford: a sense of déjà vu

While clearing out my garage last month I stumbled across two boxes. Each was packed with VHS video cassettes – remember them? – of various films and comedies over the years. Mostly from the 1970s and 80s, of course. There were three piping tapes in the box: MacKinnon Productions’ West […]

Gill Cairns and Bob Low: The view from the other side of the lens

Gill Cairns and Bob Low: The view from the other side of the lens

The whole experience on online piping competitions is something many of us are quickly getting used to. For those who haven’t experienced this, CLASP member Gill Cairns and CLASP alumnus Bob Low recount their recent experiences ‘stewarding’ at two of them. We will follow this with the experiences of competitors. […]

Michael Grey: Driving alone with a mask

Michael Grey: Driving alone with a mask

I once worked with a record producer who was full of musical perspectives and alternative ways to make ideas happen. You’ll know that’s a big part of their job. He remains a great talent. Still, he often defensively couched his thinking (aka ‘crazy ideas’) with a slightly crass observation – […]

Gill Cairns: Staying connected, part 2

Gill Cairns: Staying connected, part 2

A few months ago, as Covid-19 was making its way around the world, I wrote here about the emergence of online competitions. Most countries were in lockdown and I, and my fellow ‘CLASPies’, had just competed in the world’s first live online competition. It was organised by the National Piping […]