It looks like there’s a sizable contingent of players of the Scottish Smallpipe this year at the Piper’s Gathering so they’ve got me teaching beginners at 9 AM tomorrow instead of Border pipes. I’m happy about this in part because I get to teach on the new set this weekend. I’m doing a few minutes of tunes Saturday night at the concert and I think I’m going to play the smallpipes and the new Cantiga bagpipes I made a couple of weeks ago. The chanter is quiet like a Border pipe, in the key of A, plays good accidentals as well as a high b up the octave but is mouthblown with a reed I developed that looks a bit like a Highland reed but with a smaller staple and thinner blades.
Tonight we had a “meet and greet” with a lot of the students and instructors talking informally in the main hall. The center of the room was taken up by a large session of Scottish smallpipes and off to the side was a gathering of Northumbrian smallpipers, with the gaggle of Uillean pipers in a separate room entirely. Towards the end of the night, I don’t know, it might have been the drink but I thought I saw the beginnings of an invasion of SSP (Scottish smallpipe) territory by a couple of NSP (Northumbrian small pipe) scouts.
Wish me luck! I’ll try to upload pictures as soon as I get them. Here’s the new Cantiga bagpipe with me at Pennsic last week. I tried to capture the beauty of the fair Vermont summer drive with the iPhone today but I’ll have to keep trying.