September’s tune of the month is an Irish tune that has found its way into many sets by folk and pipe bands alike in recent years. Upon hearing it again in one of the grade 1 medleys at the World Pipe Band Championships I figured it would make a good tune of the month. Lisnagun is by Brendan Ring, an uilleann piper, and has a simple, but effective melody, hence its popularity. I have included a straightforward version that precedes (recording) or follows (sheet music) an embellished version of my own.
Jackie Latin is an old tune that spans many piping traditions. I, however, only ran across it listening to PM Ben Duncan playing at The Masters Solo Piping Competition as a part of Piping Live! week at the National Piping Centre. You can hear him play his MSR starting at 11:36:40 with the tune starting at 11:39:39. He is essentially playing the 6 parted version published in Willie Ross’ first book with slightly different rhythm in places. The tune has been published many times with a few available online, though they vary in the number of parts (and the name of the tune: Jacky Lattin, Jackey Layton, etc.). Traditionally, the tune doesn’t really fit as a competition style reel, but Ross’ version fits the mold very well. If you haven’t picked up the Pipe-Major W. Ross’s Collection yet, shame on you; you should have bought it right after acquiring Donald MacLeod’s Collection (no sheet music this month as I don’t want to infringe on Ross’ copyright of the arrangement). The tune itself is relatively easy; there’s a throw at the end of each line, a B –> C grip in the first part, a few doublings scattered around, and that’s it aside from timing issues. GDE and GD gracenote rhythms in reels is essential to getting the flow. I hold the first note of GDE patterns, DOT cut dot: look for this in the 5th and 6th parts. This tune also has the GDGD, cut dot cut dot, rhythm most associated with the reel The Smith of Chilliechassie; in this case I make sure to hold the second note, cut DOT cut dot = tach-ummmmmmmmmmm da-daaa: look for this in the 4th part of my recording. And while I was thinking about those things, I should have held the D on the throw a little longer at the end of each line and held those DOT cut dot, ABC and ABE, patterns in the first and second parts, respectively. Doh! Well, that’s why I record my practices…I’ll update with a new recording after I no longer have to sight read the tune.
Below are several recordings made over several days of most of my collection of bagpipes. Which of the setups do you like?
Jacky Latin (mic off to the left) – not the audio from the video above (Pipes are Colin Kyo with Ackland Overtone drone reeds = why you get two sound perspectives. Chanter is Colin Kyo with Shawn Husk chanter reed.) (recorded 2019-08-14)