Archive for July 3rd, 2009

piperThere’s something about the sound of bagpipes that really kicks in for me.  I understand how the sound might not move and may even grate on many people.  It’s not a subtle sound and it either connects with you or it doesn’t.  For me, it instantly has the hair on the back of my neck up and alert.  There’s a real visceral impact.

One of my favorite pipe moments came in Alexandria several years back.  We were at Pat Troy’s, a popular tavern drinking a pint or two.  As the night turned into morning, the musician who had been playing, a real troubadour who could play anything you yelled out, said he was taking a break and turning the joint over to some players from the City of Alexandria Pipe Band.  Several fellows on the other side of the room shuffled around a bit and six pipers and four drummers appeared.

If you’ve ever heard such a sound in a small space, you’ll understand the sonic impact I’m talking about.  It just swelled and filled every crack and crevice, a huge powerful drone accompanied by the drummers’ rat-a-tats that banged off your sternum.  For me, it was heaven.  I didn’t want it to stop.  I think my sister wanted the agony to end as soon as possible.  That’s how the pipes are.

Here’s a neat video of a large pipe band performing Queen‘s We Will Rock You at the Edinburgh Tattoo.  There’s something pretty cool in that sound and the pageantry of it all.  Enjoy (or not)…

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