This excellent introduction to Uilleann Piping from NPU is well worth a watch.
This short introduction to Uilleann Piping from Na Píobairí Uilleann features music from Mick O’Brien, Louise Mulcahy, Pat Mitchell, Kevin, Tierna and Naoise Rowsome, Gay McKeon and Jane Walls. Even if you are an experienced piper I think you will find something interesting in it. Well done NPU and thank you!
This tune came into being after a couple of hours playing on ‘Ted’s Fiddle’, an old fiddle that had not been out of its case for many years and belonging to Edward Arthur Scott. The strings were old style gut and had obviously been on for many years, they were worn and frayed with the marks his second and third fingers had left on them clearly visible. I was too scared to tune it up for fear of them breaking so I settled for ‘in tune with itself’ somewhere way below concert pitch.
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FairPlé aims to achieve gender balance in the production, performance, promotion, and development of Irish traditional and folk music. They advocate for equal opportunity and balanced representation for all.
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FairPlé aims to achieve gender balance in the production, performance, promotion, and development of Irish traditional and folk music. We advocate for equal opportunity and balanced representation for all. Continue reading →
This tune was written in 1999 shortly after the birth of my daughter, Rosey. She used to call them ‘diddly diddly’ or ‘mummy tunes’.The harmony written here is not a ‘duet’ harmony, but is a representation of the arrangement as it appears along with full backing on the CD ‘Becky Taylor’. The second part of the tune is a variation on the harmony from the first part, with the addition of a counter harmony just to confuse things!
Today feels like the first proper day of Spring 2018 in Yorkshire, the clocks have ‘sprung’ forwards and the evenings are lighter. Today it even felt warm in the sunshine prompting a rare splurge of spring cleaning (ok, tidying!) with the windows open. Despite being located relatively near a main road the birds were singing away outside and as I got started I came across a scrap of paper with some notes scribbled on it taking me back to this time last year…
The first snippet
I am no ornithologist, but I do my best to encourage birds to the garden with a bird feeder and bird bath which is kept topped up most of the time. Around this time last year I started to notice a particular snippet of birdsong. It was loud, clear and could be heard regularly both morning and night being distinct from the ‘ordinary’ sound the birds make in the garden. I made a note of it (as you do).
After a couple of weeks the distinctive call developed, still the same pattern but with an extra note at the end. I updated my note. Continue reading →
Unfortunately, as some of you know, I haven’t been able to play my beloved pipes recently due to a steadily worsening case of ‘the curse of the MacCrimmons’. Its not just Scottish pipers that are affected though, Uilleann pipers, pianists, flute players, fiddlers, and many others develop this ‘thing’ known as Dupuytren’s (honestly the names really don’t help!).
According to the British Dupuytrens Society, Dupuytren’s disease, also called Dupuytren’s contracture, is a “benign thickening of the connective tissue, or fascia, of the palm and fingers”. It usually starts with a tiny lump, in the palm of the hand and eventually string like cords develop beneath the skin. As the condition progresses the affected fingers are pulled towards the palm and cannot be straightened anymore,. This is NOT good (understatement). Especially if you are a musician of any type (piper or not!).
So, while I’ve not been piping I have been looking into it and here is the story (with thanks to the British Dupuytrens Society history section!) Continue reading →