Monthly Archives: September 2008

Center + Colin Kyo drone reeds

3/4 John Center ca. 1900 bagpipe made of Cocus wood. Colin Kyo drone reeds. Note that at one point I shut the middle tenor off with my finger and then promptly reduced the pressure to let it come back in. I walk around.


As a personal comment, these drones are very bright but not brassy. Great drone reeds for a mere $68 (at the time of purchase). If I buy another set of drone reeds, it will be these for my Henderson pipes too!


Slow Air / Hornreel

So I broke the smallpipes out for the first time since early September. I usually only get them out to play with the local Irish musicians but the kid went to sleep so I figured I would play something that was quieter. The slow air is a tune I wrote called Calista Anne McLaurin (the kid who was asleep) and the hornpipe/reel was a tune I wrote called Rascal’s Runabout. The sheet music for both can be found here:

airhornreel <- Listen Here



So, my Henderson pipes with Henderson Harmonic Deluxe 2nd Generation drone reeds were feeling a little left out so I broke them out with my band chanter, poly McCallum with oval holes with a Caldwell reed. I noticed these McCallum chanters are unforgiving when pressure is concerned. This may not be an issue with harder reeds but with the easier reeds I play the pitch of the chanter changes dramatically depending on the pressure.

M = March = Kantara to El Arish

S = Strathspey = Dora MacLeod

R = Reel = Charlie’s Welcome (got lost at one spot!)

msr <- listen here



Well, I’ve just about got my wife’s 3/4 John Center pipes going with Selbie reeds, and a Colin Kyo poly chanter. Decided to play an MSRHJ yesterday:

M = March = 74th’s Farewell to Edinburgh

S = Strathspey = Inverary Castle

R = Reel = Rejected Suitor

H = Hornpipe = Lucy Cassidy

J = Jig = Braes of Mellenish (didn’t go so well)

msrhj <-Listen Here


First playing of the new Colin Kyo chanter by Murray Huggins!

Instead of writing it all over again, I’ll just post what I told Murray about the chanter. Below that are some recordings of the chanter with my wife’s 3/4 John Center drones as the tenon on the chanter is smaller than most chanters I have experience with and thus fit more quickly into the chanter stock of her Centers than my Hendersons.


Hey Murray,
Got the chanter in today and got to play with it some. I played the reed you sent some but it was a little too hard for me. I tried some of mine and I must say the chanter was remarkably well tuned regardless of the reed. I had to tape the high G, E, and C each just a tiny tad with the final reed which is the one I made the most recordings on. I must say though, it is a great chanter. The top hand F, high G, and high A all sound very good. D is spot on, as is B. The other notes are a given. Your chanter lives up to all my expectations. The holes in general, in comparison to other chanters, make it very easy to play. All the more remarkable that it is easy to play AND easy to tune! Take that you giganto-oval-holed McCallums; the Colin Kyo chanter has one up on you (small easy to play chanter holes)!







Note: There are three other recordings of The Sweet Maid of Mull on this website, use the search feature and type in mull and you will get all three. The first is with a giganto-oval-holed McCallum chanter (big holes), the second with an old african blackwood Naill (flat B and C), and the third is the Colin Kyo. I personally think the Colin Kyo sounds the best! Check Colin Kyo out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!