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Old 05-06-2020, 03:31 PM   #1
Michael Kazmierski Dunn
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Default Playing Gaita and singing at the same time?

Hola, gaiteros
So, on Youtube, upon looking up the tracklist for the out-of-print CD "The Ace and Deuce of Pipering" (THANKS PANCELTICPIPER!), I noticed that both tracks featuring the Spanish Gaita are of Ramon Garcia and Vicente Miranda. I don't know if anyone will be familiar with these guys, but on Ramon's Wikipedia page, translated from Spanish, it says that he could play the Gaita AND sing at the same time!
https://ast.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ram%C...c%C3%ADa_Tuero
Here are some YOutubes of him from 1910 I believe.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVFk...&index=29&t=0s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q94E...&index=28&t=0s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQQ2...&index=27&t=0s
And Vincente Miranda who is also a Gaita-singer, from the '30's.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEAF...&index=26&t=0s
Here's the question. I have no idea whatsoever how they can play AND sing like that, because I'm assuming that Spanish Gaitas are mouth-blown (using a blowpipe), rather than bellows-blown (using a bellows under the right arm to pump air into the bag). If the pipes are mouthblown, they must be using relatively huge bags in order to be able to sing the long notes. And get this, Ramon from 1910 has an amazing vibrato himself!!!!! WOZA!!!!!! On top of that, a piper with not only a really good vibrato but also the voice for dexterous operatic roulades (i.e. scales) too!!!!! Anyone who hasn't heard the best roulades, or isn't familiar with them, should listen to the sadly late Cristina Deutekom in the 1960s and 1970s. So crisp they literally sound like a violin doing scales when really it's because Cristina spent eight years doing this exercise like no other.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...rrRvLeF7uA1SRQ
So, how do these gaiteros play and sing at the same time? Perhaps best to ask the real gaiteros on here, I'm sure they know more about their own instruments than most Highland pipers do. Keep in mind, I'm also blind, so consider the fact I'm not able to see them, just hear them. Do they really have big bags, or what is it?
And I apologize for the link to the operatic playlist, just to tell people what I'm referring to by "roulades". I have heard no better roulades than the featured opera singer in my playlist I linked to, hence the reason for the example.
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Old 05-06-2020, 06:17 PM   #2
CalumII
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Default Re: Playing Gaita and singing at the same time?

The bags are pretty similar, a little smaller generally than ours. They are low pressure instruments and use very little air so you can keep a full bag going without blowing for a fairly long time.
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Old 05-06-2020, 06:31 PM   #3
Michael Kazmierski Dunn
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Default Re: Playing Gaita and singing at the same time?

Wow, very interesting. Suppose the same is true for zampogna bags, no? I mean, there is a recording in the 1960s of what is credited as just a duo of zampogna playing and ciaramella playing, but I can tell the ciaramella player is NOT the singer because the singer holds his last note even after the ciaramella comes in, and they didn't credit them as a trio. I can't seem to find the link on YOutube, but I do have it in my huge zampogna collection that lasts almost 25 hours...
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Old 05-12-2020, 07:44 AM   #4
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Playing Gaita and singing at the same time?

Traditional gaita bags are so small! Seems it would be tough to sing and play.

Not so with the gaida. The bags are huge and the instrument is very air-efficient so you don't have to blow into the bag very often.

I've heard many guys play Kaba Gaida and sing.

BTW many years ago I was at a party and a fellow showed up with a set of Northumbrian pipes in one hand and a harp in the other.

He proceeded to play the smallpipes and sing for hours. He was a remarkable guy, fluent in Welsh, Gaelic, and Irish, and a store of songs in all those languages. Later he was reciting Anglo Saxon poetry. (A native Welsh speaker, he picked up the other languages later.)
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Old 05-12-2020, 10:34 AM   #5
Michael Kazmierski Dunn
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Default Re: Playing Gaita and singing at the same time?

WOW! All I can just say is... WOW!!!!!!
Here is the zampogna piece with the (presumably) singing zampognaro. Like I said, I am assuming the bags are big enough to sing a verse. If you listen closely the singer (maybe the piper as well) carries his note on further so at the end of most verses the ciaramella comes in as he holds his last note with his voice, so the ciaramella player isn't the singer (how else can that be done). Plus it was from the '60's, i don't think they used multitracking equipment back then. It doesn't credit them on Youtube, but according to Discogs, it's Salvatore Porelli on zampogna (and maybe singing) and what I remember the name to be Domenica Iannetta on ciaramella.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQuAOaKiIN8
There is very little bass range captured in the original but in my own zampogna collection I've severely enhanced the quality so that the singer can be heard more clearly, so it becomes more obvious that the singer holds his note when the ciaramella comes in. I also think this is a zampogna "Zoppa" being played (i.e., soprano and alto chanters in thirds / fourths, with the alto having an open end meeting the note of the tenor drone).
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