Duetting

Messing about with the duet concertina

Here’s something I came across whilst looking for something else (isn’t that always the way!). Messing around on the duet concertina with the odd whistle and pipe thrown in, recorded at Steve Smith’s (now of Kimbers Men fame) in 2016 just before the problems with my hand stopped me playing for a while…good news on that front – I will be back in the bellows soon! Watch this space

Duet Concertina

 

All music and arrangement by Becky Taylor, all rights reserved, © 2016

 

Please support the Fair Plé movement – it’s SO important…

FairPlé

FairPlé

Please support #Fair Plé wherever you can – it’s so important to the traditional music world. In the many years I have been on the trad music scene I have lost count of the number of times when Fair Plé was more un-Fair Plé.

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.

Their mission statement is:

Mission Statement

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

Its not just Scottish pipers affected by the curse of the MacCrimmons…

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

Debut CD ‘Becky Taylor’ Free MP3 Audio Track & Sampler

Available to buy here from our online shop

“… an absolute delight.”
“… wonderful piping …”
(Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2 – February 2003)
“… a debut album high on technical merit and charm …”
(Colin Randall, Daily Telegraph – June 2003)
“… an album packed full of cracking tunes played with real panache …”
“… music to lift your spirits …”
(Paul Saunders, BBC Radio 2 – Folk & Acoustic – June 2003)
“… a real trad treat …”
(Sean Láffey, Irish Music Magazine – July 2003)
“A storming album …”
(Nick Beale, fROOTS Magazine – June 2003)
“… a joy to listen to …”
(Colin Ross, Chairman of the Northumbrian Pipers Society – July 2003)
“… an astonishing solo debut album …”
(Aidan Crossey, Pay The Reckoning – April 2003)
“Loads of great music both traditional and her own composition …”
(Mike Harding BBC Radio 2)

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Northumbrian Pipers Society Newsletter Article

Last Autumn I was asked to write an article for the Northumbrian Pipers Society quarterly newsletter. An edited version was published in the Autumn edition, but here is the full version…

Northumbrian Smallpipes

Waking up on the morning after my birthday this year I realized with some horror that I had now been playing the pipes for 30 years (you would have thought I would have the hang of it by now really wouldn’t you?!..)

Starting back in 1983 with Dave McQuade’s loan sets to schools and moving on to a particularly decrepit Hedworth set which I played for many years, my early NSP playing was unorthodox to say the least, and heavily influenced by the Irish musicians in the area and my passion for Uilleann piping for which I am perhaps better known. The defining moment in my NSP playing career was when, after many years I finally acquired a beautiful boxwood 17key set from Colin Ross in 2008 – it did take a little persuasion it must be said, as he was concerned that the Bb keys may not have been strictly necessary, with me assuring him that them they were, and subsequently playing many Gminor sets just to make sure I got the good use of them! Anyway, on playing this set it was impossible not to fall in love again with the sound of NSP and I returned to regular playing with renewed enthusiasm.

Over the years my piping career has taken me to some interesting places, most recently in Russia where I was invited to play (Uilleann) pipes as a guest with the legendary Boris Grebenshikov and his (mainly rock based) band Aquarium. After several visits I introduced the smallpipes as my F set very conveniently played in the keys of F and C that my Uilleann sets (being a concert pitched or ‘B’ set) couldn’t, and they were subsequently used on several tracks even making a brief appearance on the (very heavy) album ‘Архангельск’.

Playing NSP in Russia with a (very large) rock band came with its own particular set of challenges, the first of which was getting them there. Travelling through Russian border control with a pipe case containing both Uilleann and NSP is interesting to say the least. The very first word I learnt in Russian was ‘волынка’ pronounced ‘Volinka” and meaning literally ‘bagpipe’ and it is essential information for smoothing the difficult conversation between me (no Russian) and the rather bemused looking immigration staff (little English) when they pointed to my case with a stern ‘open’..

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Jiggity Jigs – Live in Rochdale! 2002

D’ jigs (Trad. arr. Taylor/Cowham)

Download

Becky Taylor: Low Whistle
Paul Cowham: Guitar

Both tracks were recorded live in Rochdale on 26th April, 2002 supporting Shooglenifty presented by Acoustic Roots.

Studio versions of both tracks are featured on the debut album available to buy at our online shop here