New Pipes (I know who made these ones)

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New Pipes (I know who made these ones)

Postby Ben Power » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:06 am

Hi All,

Having been put firmly in my place regarding those night class pipes I'd borrowed by Adrian (just joking mate), but having really like playing them and working my way gradually through Peacock, I decided to look about to see if I could move up slightly in the Northumbrian Smallpipes stakes. I had a vague notion of hoping to run into a set by either Dave Shaw or the Evans, both of whom I interviewed about their instrument making in November (I really like to try examples of the work of the people I'm doing research on when I'm luck enough to get the opportunity). Quite a slice of luck then that this G set of Shaws came up on ebay and though I didn't get them there, they didn't sell and so I contacted the bloke and we managed to strike a deal (made me utterly skint, but I hope it is worth it). Getting a G set seemed reasonable (after consulting in my earlier thread—thanks—and with a few folk I know who play) as I'm a bit isolated from other Northumbrian pipers around these parts (I'm back in San Diego for now) but there are a couple of fiddlers that I play regularly with, so hopefully I can have tune with them.

You'll have noticed that, as usual, I've gotten things backwards, visiting the maker and then getting a set of his second hand pipes, and initially I ran into the problem that the two reeds the bloke sent me with them (neither by Dave as it turned out) were, neither of them, terribly functional—must have been very frustrating for him. The chanter wouldn't play in tune (particularly the 5th) and was generally very difficult to get on with—they gave me a highly frustrating couple of days as I tried to make them work. So I've been on to Dave and he's sending me a couple of new ones. A major slice of luck though in the meantime: I just thought I'd just pop the reed from my little rudimentary keyless F+ set in on the off chance, and, amazingly, it plays beautifully and they're right in tune (I'm not sure why this should be... any ideas?), so I'll be interested to see how Dave's do in comparison when they arrive, and I've been having a lovely time with them since. They are (as suggested by your comments on the little set) rather nicer and have a great sound on them. Dave's drones also have this super-bass drone thing that they do if you like, which makes for an interesting sonic texture—useful for sessions and larger rooms perhaps?

Just thought, after the ignominy of my initial thread, that I'd bring you all up to date on the pipes situation, as I imagine you were all waiting with bated breath to see what would happen next... what... no? Any commentary or advice gratefully accepted.

Here they are. I'll see about working on a tune of the month to put up too, though it might not be this month's.

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Dave Shaw Northumbrian Smallpipes in G by bepoq, on Flickr

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Shaw Northumbrian Smallpipes in G by bepoq, on Flickr

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DSC04358 by bepoq, on Flickr

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DSC04365 by bepoq, on Flickr
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Re: New Pipes (I know who made these ones)

Postby Julia Say » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:42 am

There's a set of Northumbrian pipes in Ramona.....but they're in F. Beautiful ebony set made by Colin Ross, one of the best sounds ever.
The owner is primarily a guitarist, but I think he plays the pipes too.

Julia
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Re: New Pipes (I know who made these ones)

Postby Ben Power » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:23 pm

hmmm... really. that's not too terribly far away, though I've been here 4 years or so now and not heard of them, so perhaps he doesn't play out too much. I'll fish about and look out for them, thanks.
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Re: New Pipes (I know who made these ones)

Postby adrian » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:20 am

Ugly looking chanter.
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Re: New Pipes (I know who made these ones)

Postby Ben Power » Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:14 pm

hah, just no pleasing some people (be very much interested in hearing more about the aesthetics of NSP design though, if anyone is interested in writing a bit about it)
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