Monthly Archives: July 2011

Inveran + Robertson = MSRHJ & Bagpipe set up

Still not quite being satisfied with my recordings of these 1950ish Robertson pipes, before I give them back to my friend I wanted one more shot. This time with the Inveran chanter with a new reed. The drones go out of tune toward the end, but I couldn’t get another recording out (see below for why).
Rossshire Volunteers, Dora MacLeod, Captain Lachlan MacPhail of Tiree, Lucy Cassidy, and the Herringwife

I also take this opportunity to stress how important it is to have a bagpipe set up to fit you properly. The blowpipe is about the right length, and its stock is tied in properly, but the bag is too big. Looking at the picture below, you can see my left shoulder hiked up to accommodate the bag. My shoulder was killing me by the end of the set and the muscles in my forearm were tired from ‘dealing’ with the bag. I’m not the prettiest bloke to wake up next to…oh hey, you can see my Zoom H2 recorder sitting on the bookshelf (in case you were wondering where I put it).

Robertson’s, ’nuff said.

My buddy has too many bagpipes. Which is great for me, as I get to muck about with the ones he’s not playing now and again. But, today was a special occassion, he lent me his babies. A set of 1920ish ebony Robertson’s that have had the casein ringcaps and bushes replaced with moose antler by Michael MacHarg. They are otherwise flat combed with nickel ferrules. Droooool…….

The other pipe is a set of 1950ish Robertson’s, fully mounted, with a replacement blowstick (original mount and brass lined) by Murray Huggins over at Colin Kyo bagpipes. Drooooooooool some more……

Kron poly chanter with Gilmour reed, I think. Enjoy!

1920ish Robertson’s – Ezeedrone reeds – Hector the Hero and the Iron Man (two wonderful tunes that I didn’t royally screw up by the famous James Scott Skinner) – Hector the Hero and the Iron Man (the 2nd is the original audio file that appeared on the blog, but it was the ‘wrong’ one as I normally normalize the recording to make it louder, so it’s preserved here so you can tell the difference between a normalized and non-normalized recording)

1950ish Robertson’s – Canning tenor and Wygent bass reeds – Loch Tay Boat Song, March of the King of Laois, and Bessie McIntyre

Edit: I wasn’t too happy with the above recording, but I’m not too happy with this one either. The reed was sharp on the top hand in the Colin Kyo chanter, especially high G, which gave rise to a few odd sounding grace notes due to the heavy taping required. While dunking a reed in water for a little bit will certainly make it easier, it seems to compromise the reed as well. Oh well. I’ll have to think on this practice some more as a viable way to ease up reeds that arrive in the mail that require 50+ inches of water to make a sound. Anyways, here’s the MSR where I apparently forgot what part I was playing in the strathspey.

Major Manson’s Farewell to Clachantrushal, Inverary Castle, and Rejected Suitor