Reviews, Hints & Tips

Stuart Letford reviews The Last Highlander

Stuart Letford reviews The Last Highlander

To pipers, Lord Lovat of the ’45 is known through two tunes, both called Lord Lovat’s Lament. One is a 4/4 march, the other a piece of ceòl mòr. Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat – MacShimidh Mòr – was a clan chief who was beheaded for his part in what […]

Dan Nevans reviews John Dew’s ‘Pipe Tunes’

Dan Nevans reviews John Dew’s ‘Pipe Tunes’

It’s been a hell of a year for new music. This year, plenty of performers have released new records, new collections and performances on live streams and YouTube recitals. Just in time for Christmas, here comes a collection of tunes titled simply, Pipe Tunes. John Dew, one of our most […]

Maintenance, part 2

Maintenance, part 2

Stocks By Seumas MacNeill Having dealt with the bag situation the next obvious consideration is the state of the stocks you intend to tie on to your bag. Most people probably feel there is not much in the way of maintenance to be done on the simple five wooden tubes, […]

Maintenance, part 1

Maintenance, part 1

The Bag (size and shape: the stocks: seasoning)       By Seumas MacNeill One of the most important things for a piper is the state of his bagpipe. The choosing of tunes, the ability to play well, the chance to perform for somebody’s pleasure (maybe his own), all go for nothing if […]

Dan Nevans reviews Ross Ainslie’s ‘Vana’

Dan Nevans reviews Ross Ainslie’s ‘Vana’

I don’t do drugs. Expanding the horizons of my consciousness with chemicals has never seemed as interesting as expanding my consciousness with more corporeal, external media. But, if I did want to smoke DMT or rub mushrooms on my temples until time becomes a visible substance, I’d do it to […]

Matthew Welch reviews Donald Lindsay’s ‘History of Sleep’

Matthew Welch reviews Donald Lindsay’s ‘History of Sleep’

Donald WG Lindsay and I have come to know each other over the last decade through the very small network of bagpipers pushing the boundaries, capabilities, and future possibilities of the bagpipes and bagpipe music. His recent explorations in smallpipe and chanter design are seen through the lens of a […]

Dan Nevans digs Xavier Boderiou’s ‘Liamm’

Dan Nevans digs Xavier Boderiou’s ‘Liamm’

The limitations of the great highland bagpipe are: A fixed range of melody notes/fixed octave drone; No dynamic ability; No rests (traditionally). Nevertheless, considering our instrument cannot become louder or quieter, we don’t start and stop, and we are restricted with what keys we can play in, it’s amazing the […]

Dan Nevans reviews ‘A Wee Bit o’ a Tune’

Dan Nevans reviews ‘A Wee Bit o’ a Tune’

A bagpipe is an investment. If you are lucky then you’ll get a return out of that investment either for yourself or for whomever gets the pipe after you. The mystique of the antique bagpipe is much like the sword ‘Excalibur’ in Thomas Mallory’s epic, Le Morte d’Arthur: the object […]