Thread: Colin Ross RIP
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:35 AM   #6
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Northumberland, UK
Posts: 47
Default Re: Colin Ross RIP

Colin was one of the people who got me started on my piping journey almost 30 years ago. My first set was actually a loan of a simple set ...(which I didn't get on with!) and he then recommended a good amateur set which got me off the ground. Always generous with his time and his music, no trip to his workshop or a pipers' meeting was complete without:
  1. A discussion/lecture on any of; reeds, oil, leather, wood
  2. A couple of his handwritten tunes being passed out; and they could be anything from 'forgotten' piping classics, transcripts from old manuscripts, Glen Miller classics or a bit of Handel.

In addition to being a great maker, he was a fine player as well and delighted in playing with others. I was always torn on whether I wanted to hear him leading the tunes out or diving off into harmonies. Hearing him on the fiddle was always a privilege - he played with a raw style and great tone, his timing was excellent and his dance tunes always had a driving rhythm with just the right pulse. The majestic slow airs were something special for me; he packed a huge amount of energy & expression into them with what appeared to be minimal effort and it was from Colin that I learnt a lot about how to approach these 'grand' tunes. When I learnt of his passing it was that memory that was triggered and after a couple of hours reflecting on all of the above - this tune then came out almost fully formed: The Master of Monkseaton

For a man who did so much for Northumbrian Smallpipes & extended chanters in particular, it had to have both a top B and something outside the 7 key range (but that low C# can be an E if needed).

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