Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Piper's Retreat

Cindy and I have dreamed of one day building a castle at our land in Ca Ira and hosting Highland Games Competitions there, not unlike the Glenfiddich Piping and Fiddle Competition at Blair Castle each Fall.

Fergus Muirhead introduces the Glenfiddich Piping Championship 2019 from The National Piping Centre on Vimeo.

Wouldn't it be great to have a beautiful place to celebrate the best bagpipe and fiddle talent in the World on US soil? We think it would be amazing to have a special place in the United States to host such a competition, and have Pipers and Fiddlers from around the world come and compete in a beautifully grand setting, not unlike Blair Castle in Scotland.

Of particular interest to me is the Piobaireachd Music of the Highland Bagpipe. This music is the equivalent of classical music to the Great Highland Bagpipe, but in my opinion, there is more to it than that. It is a highly meditative body of music in nature, from the way the player walks whilst playing a Piobaireachd to the repetitive patterns in the music. It's sound is very ethereal and other-worldly. In fact, the Piobaireachd 'Crunluath' and 'Crunluath A Mach' movements remind me a great deal of the French Scientist trying to communicate with the Alien Mother Ship in 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'. It's an amazing music idiom for the Highland Bagpipe. If interested, give this Glenfiddich Piobaireachd a listen:

Finlay Johnston performs Piobaireachd at the Glenfiddich Piping Championship 2019 from The National Piping Centre on Vimeo.

So thinking of the Glenfiddich Championship in Scotland and the Highland Bagpipe Competition in general, I've set about to starting my piping hobby back up trying to use Piping Competitions (which are hard to come by these days with COVID-19 concerns and all) to try improve my piping skills. Here's my recent submission to the Ohio Scottish Games Piping Competition 2020 Online (I dream of having a Pipe that sounds as well a Finlay Johnston's one day...):

Keep Dreaming!

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