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Bish 01-23-2015 10:35 PM

Pipes singing for Burns
Pipes were crooning last night in a Portsmouth pub for a Burns. Slightly flattened High A, just enough so that it was still actually A, but at the lower end. Reed was blowing free and easy, full of tone and quality. Been using this particular Warnock reed nearly two years now, and it is a beauty. Ordered a batch of six at the time and asked for his best solo reeds, and he really delivered. Not a bad reed in the batch.

It was one of those gigs where the quality of the sound was like honey and nectar to the piper's ear. I felt like playing the note of C on its own just to hear it smooching the drones.

My playing was sub-optimal because of feeling sluggish and mentally not with it, but the crowd loved the music and clapped along to tune after tune. Crowds clapping always pick up the tempo, don't they? It worked really well, and if there had been room for dancing they would have stomped away.

There was one dude without any sense of rhythm at all, and he was a hoot. I said to him that if he was trying to knock me off the beat that I could do it all on my own. We all had a good laugh. People do not always respond to 6/8s, I have found, but this crowd rocked along to them. Found myself rounding them off against my will to accommodate their clapping and hollering.

The MC was so broad I doubt that anyone there understood his Address to the Haggis. I could only follow because I know the thing so well. He has done many of these evenings and heard many a piper, not all of them very good, he said. He liked my playing, thankfully. There were not many Burns poems, as usual, but loads of jokes and a good time.

Last year played at a real evening of Burns poetry and music. Loads of excellent reciting and singing, all in honour of the man and his work. Those love songs are powerful stuff. No wonder he had the lassies eating out of his hand. A real Burns Supper takes a lot of planning and prep, and excellent speakers. Most of these Burns evenings are really a celebration of Scotland in general, which is a good enough reason to have them.

Neil Clark 01-26-2015 05:49 AM

Re: Pipes singing for Burns
Get a recording next time, Mr Bish?

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