Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Foot Stompin' Music, a record label in Scotland, offers three fine mp3s which you can download free at the bottom of the page here, an Irish fiddle set (pleasant change of pace!) off a CD by Liz Doherty, a multi-instrumental set (yes, pipes too) from Back of the Moon, and a set, mostly of puirt a beul, from James Graham's first CD. If I remember aright, that set was one he sang when he won Young Scottish Traditional Musician of the year back in '04.

Myy, time flies! It seems like just last week, I was sitting in my dorm room listening to BBC online when I, no doubt should have been studying. I don't remember what it was I was supposed to be studying, but I do remember I happened to catch the final round of competition for Young Scottish Traditional Musician of the Year. I remember that all of it was enough to keep me on the edge of my seat. There was some lovely fiddling and some insanely good accordion playing that sticks in my mind, and the aforementioned set of puirt. I can safely say that catching that particular broadcast lead, in one way or another, to many of my current interests, linguistic and musical (although I have not yet showed much inclination towards playing the accordion.)

Anyway, it fits in very well with the recent inclinations of this blog towards songs which are related to piobaireachds (as is the first of the set) and mouth music (as is the rest of the set), not to mention last Friday's video. If, perchance, you like it as well as I do, yes, the whole CD is well worth owning.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Some Outdoors are Greater than Others

Here are a couple more pictures from the Nevada weekend:
One of my aunts who lives that side of the mountains said, with magnificent understatement: "It's not so bad."

The pictures I didn't get would just break your heart (oh well, broke mine, anyway!) The sweep of land from the foot of the mountains into Minden itself is largely pasture, very green pasture, veined with small, bright streams. That would be worth the drive to see, but the drive itself was more than worth the drive. I rode down with my aunt and uncle over Highway 88 (Carson Pass Highway). I have never in my life seen the likes of that.

Evidently, the government has decided to categorize roads like this: they are called National Scenic Byways. To say Carson Pass Highway is scenic is like saying that the ocean is a little bit damp. You can see a few photos here.

What you miss in the photos, of course, is the firsthand experience of a piney, granite wilderness that stretched off forever to the south, while to the north, mountain upon fainter blue-green mountain folded up, one on another, to the Canadian border (or so it seemed.) A million small and lovely things were woven continuously over the giant beauty of the mountains. Come around one corner, and you were startled by the red sparks of penstemons growing in a crack of the bank, come around another, and a pool of lupines was splashed across the hillside, or a wild rose bush was bursting into bloom, as fresh as dawn itself.

What I don't know is how my uncle managed to keep watching the road, but, thinking back on the high places, I am eternally grateful to him for doing so.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


The School of Scottish Studies in Edinburgh has some fascinating archival material online here. You'll want to click "Tocher" in the left column, then if you "select articles by type," you will see that there is indeed a category for songs, both in Scots and Gaelic. A good many of them include not only recordings, but transcriptions of the recordings, as well as background on the singers. A prime example is "Fhir a' Chinn Duibh," a piece sung by a Uist piper named Alasdair Boyd. He associates the song with the piobaireachd, "Lament for the Children," though, as he explains, the part of the piobaireachd it most resembles is the second variation, rather than the ground you might expect.

The piobaireachd itself I mentioned in passing a few weeks back, but here is a link again to the Captain's Corner, in case anybody is curious. The recording (Willie McCallum, no less) is about halfway down the page at present, in the Metro Cup-2009 article. The second variation starts at about 5:55.


It looks like the first volume of Bonnie Rideout's fiddle piobaireachd project is finished! You can listen to samples from some of the tracks at Maggie's Music. I'm still a bit up in the air as to how well I take to fiddle piobaireachd (I prefer the simplicity of a well-tuned set of pipes), but it does sound like there are some neat arrangements on here--"Dargai," is particularly lovely--and, of course, the fiddle is pure soul!


. . .And, speaking of piobaireachd, I saw this comic yesterday, and was amused.
EDIT (Sunday, 2:56 PM)
The post went up this morning, and this afternoon, I came across a real gem that was too good to save for later. On the Piobaireachd Society's website, you can hear the full recording of the beautiful modern piobaireachd "Andrew MacNeill of Colonsay", as sung by the composer of the piece, William Barrie.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Eye to Eye

An eye in a blue face
Saw an eye in a green face.
'That eye is like to this eye,'
Said the first eye,
'But in low place,
Not in high place.'

"Ss, ss, ss," said Gollum. He had been underground a long long time, and was forgetting this sort of thing. But just as Bilbo was beginning to hope that the wretch would not be able to answer, Gollum brought up memories of ages and ages and ages before, when he lived with his grandmother in a hole in a bank by a river, "Sss, sss, my preciouss," he said. "Sun on the daisies it means, it does." --J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

That was what sprang to mind when I found these flowers in Minden, Nevada last week. I was waiting to meet family and had a couple of hours to spare. There was a little park, or perhaps a border, around a small pond. The landscaping, as you can see, was very nice. There were drip lines under the bigger bushes (mostly currants and Oregon grapes) and the small trees, which were obviously put there on purpose, but everywhere else it looked as though Nevada had been left to fill in as it pleased. And it pleased!

Where was I? Oh, daisies. I have doubly enjoyed the memory of that "eye in a blue face," riddle since taking Old English. At some point, we learned the original form of the word "daisy" was the Old English dæges eage*, literally "day's eye," comparing it, if I remember aright, to the sun itself. Given Tolkien's philological inclinations the good old riddle is likely linguistic as well as picturesque.

*It's pronounced approximately "DYE-ess EYE-uh"

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Mhàiri Bhàn Òg (Young, Fair-Haired Mary)

James Graham, singing. He has such a self-effacing way of presenting a lovely tune like this one; it does both the music and himself much credit.

I searched high and low (perhaps not high enough, or not low enough) to find a bit of a translation to put up, but they seem to be in short supply. In about another fifty years I may be able to translate it for you myself, but in the meantime, here is the first verse, as the poet Duncan Bàn MacIntyre wrote it:

A Mhàiri bhàn òg 's tu 'n òigh th'air m'aire,

Ri m'bheò bhith far am bithinn fhéin,

On fhuair mi ort còir cho mór 's bu mhath leam

Le pòsadh ceangailt' o'n chléir,

Le cùmhnanta teann 's le banntaibh daingean,

'S le snaidhm a dh'fhanas, nach tréig:

S e t'fhaotainn air làimh le gràdh gach caraid

Rinn slàinte mhaireann am' chré.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

David Douglas

Back in March, I put up a post about Archibald Menzies. Today is the birthday of one of the other great names of California botany, David Douglas (born 1799), who was Menzies's contemporary and worked in many of the same areas from California, to British Columbia, to Hawaii. A reading of his short biography will probably dispell any impressions that old-time botany was a career for the timid.
Further reading: Google Books offers the entire text of David Douglas, Botanist at Hawaii by William Frederick Wilson. I haven't read it yet, other than browsing through it, but it looks quite worthwhile, being various contemporary memories of the botanist, as well as some extracts from his own correspondence.
(Since I come from Tehachapi, the Douglas-associated plant which leaps most readily to mind is the blue oak (pictured) which is Quercus douglasii in scientific terms.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mark Your Calendar!

In mundane news, I was wrong about the internet. I don't get my own until tomorrow night.

In News of Grandeur, the online magazine PipesDrums posted this today:

BBC Scotland to stream World's live from Glasgow Green

For those who are not automatically jumping up and down, giddy with delight at this information, "The World's" are the World Pipe Band Championships. The title, by the way, is not exaggerated: the bands you would see in this broadcast truly are the finest. As the article explains, too, this will be the first time the stream has been available outside the U.K. So, write it down, and start counting the days!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pibroch and Gaelic Song

Well, hello again! If AT&T comes through for me, I should have my own Internet up and running again tomorrow, so perhaps I will be a bit less sporadic about posting.

But the real news of the day: a man named Ross Anderson has (with the permission of the author) posted Allan MacDonald's thesis in its entirety! The title should explain most of the interest: The Relationship Between Pibroch and Gaelic Song: Its Implications on the Performance Style of the Pibroch Urlar.

While you're at it, there is plenty of other interesting piping material (largely historical) to browse through at the same site: Ross's Music Page.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Literature, of Varying Qualities

While unpacking my books I came across a little journal I had owned in my mid-teens, and which I had filled, nearly cover to cover, with hand-copied poems. The archaeological record suggests my printing has somewhat deteriorated, but my taste, even in those distant days, was superb, as this example shows:
'Twas a summer's day in winter
And the snow was raining fast
When a barefoot boy with boots on
Stood sitting in the grass.

Much to my amazement I found that I had also copied Stephen Vincent Benet's "The Mountain Whipoorwill," a much longer and very musical poem about a fiddler from the backwoods of Georgia.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Am Baile

Am Baile is a neat website for the Gaelic-inclined. I can't claim to have read anywhere near most of it, but it's a very educational place to wander around. Of course, the Music page might not be a bad place to start.

P.S. Did you see on the homepage--the Gaelic word for "search" is "rannsaich." That's one of those Old Norse hand-me-downs. In English, we have "ransack."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Back In The Day. . .

When we went over to the coast last year, we saw a 3-D movie that showed animations (big, toothy ones) of the prehistoric ocean life that swam over what is now Kansas. It was most impressive, especially when the big critters came leaping straight off the screen with their mouths open.

The midwest doesn't have the only former-maritime claim, though. Bakersfield, California, (yes, Bakersfield) was once the home of similar large toothy creatures. Here is an example of the toothiness, and an article about the head bone, the neck bone, etc.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Short and Archaeological, Again

I'm supposed to be putting my hour at the library to good use writing flyers to advertise for fiddle lessons, so here is a link with very little comment, the ancient, underground city (doesn't that make you just a little curious?) of Derinkuyu. Pretty fascinating subject; although people probably didn't live down there full time, it was an excavation to beat all excavations (or at least any ant farm I ever saw), complete with ventilation shafts and rooms set aside for livestock. Yes. Wow.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sailing. . .

Today's post is a quick one as I'm restricted to library computers for a while. "20 minutes remaining," the little box at the top of the screen is cautioning.

One of the neatest classes I ever took was Viking Archaeology. The teacher, a Dane, by way of Saskatchewan, knew a good deal about all aspects of the life and times of ancient Scandinavians, but the subject that most brought out his infectious enthusiasm was that of boats. One evening he introduced us all to a wealth of new words, like "clinker-built," "strakes," (in a clinker-built boat, the strakes, or planks, overlap somewhat like shingles) fantastic names like Roskilde, where the remains of several medieval vessels were recently found under the mouth of the harbor. He loved good carpentry, and that enthusiasm, too, was terribly contagious.

When it came time to write a paper for that class, I had a notion to do something on the Hebridean/Scandinavian connection. Language, if I recall aright, was my first focus, something generally relevant, such as examining Norse loan-words in Gaelic. But, as I said, the professor's interest in boats was contagious, and I caught it bad. I ended up in a compromise and wrote about birlinns, the longships of the Hebrides. Despite its wonderful subject-matter, it ended up being an inexcusably dry paper. . .but I ramble.

The main point being, although I have forgotten all too much of what I learned in the class, birlinns still hold a good deal of fascination. A good introduction to the subject (in the absence of an enthusiastic professor) is the Comunn Birlinn website. In addition, you can browse through the website for the galley Aileach, a modern birlinn built to old designs.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It Bears Repeating

About a year or so ago, I mentioned this website in passing. But I will mention it again as it's neat for two reasons. First of all, it is one of the most thorough and tidy websites you are likely to come across, a good lesson in how such things should be done, says I. Secondly, and more importantly, it is about a musician worth mentioning, the rhythm guitarist Freddie Green, who was a key member of the Count Basie Orchestra for many years. Even if you are, like me, uneducated on the finer points of jazz, you can picture just how much attention a rhythm guitarist must get when a full band is in full swing--not a lot. And yet, if you read the quote section at the website above, he was indispensable where the other musicians were concerned, holding the rhythm section together. Anyway, here is a clip from this video, featuring the rhythm section only, so you can actually hear him a bit:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Slow Air of the Moment--And More!

I saw Willie McCallum's CD Hailey's Song for sale on Amazon a few months back when I was looking for a recording of "Rory MacLoude's Lament." It was a used copy, and I guess whoever had it didn't expect that a solo piping CD would be selling too well--I think I ended up getting it, shipping and all, for less than $4. Come to find out, that was about the best $4 I ever spent. Well, it goes without saying that the piping would be good (you can read a bit about Mr. McCallum and his achievements here), but I have never owned a solo album I enjoyed listening to quite this much. The playing is not only technically perfect, but to my ears, very musical, and the tune selection, which includes a couple of pieces I had only previously heard as puirt a beul, is quite delightful. There are plenty of other people in the world better qualified to analyze just why this is a great album, but even with my comparatively limited experience in the piping world, I know what I like to hear, and this is it.

Which brings us to the promised slow air. If you go to this site, which is a branch of Lismor Recording, you can listen to a track from Hailey's Song, the slow air being "Banks of Lochiel," followed by a couple of jigs.

Here is SFU's medley from last year, where you can hear another take on "Banks of Lochiel," (it's also "Braes of Lochiel" or "Braighe Loch Iall," depending on who you ask) at exactly 3:00. Not to give anything away, but they speed it up into a march, and it sounds pretty neat!

Before I leave you in peace for the day, I would like to somewhat change the subject, and return to the Lismor Recordings site. It's a very neat collection of music, and they make certain that you know that. Quite a few of the albums let you sample entire tracks! Indeed, some of the albums, such as those in the World's Greatest Pipers series (Willie McCallum has another great album in #14 of the series), will let you hear each and every tune in its entirity. I am very big on the idea of buying tracks or albums, as you need them, but I very much like to know what I am buying, so this setup is optimal! (The 30 second clips on iTunes are inevitably the 30 seconds you were least curious about.) Their search feature is likewise very user-friendly, allowing you options for searching for an artist, an album, or just a single title. I should add, it's by no means all piping--with fiddling, singing, and plenty else, there should be a little something for everyone over there. By all means, take a look!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Good Intentions

The moon was very big and bright on Saturday. . .and I have very shaky hands.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Another Approach to Piobaireachd

Here is a link to the MySpace page of a piper named John Mulhearn. A very talented fellow, and very much inclined to experiment. For myself, well, electronic music--even electronic bagpipes--are just not my thing, but even I have had to listen to Track 2 (The Desperate Battle) twice as I write this. This one is a piobaireachd, and largely features the singing of the great Allan MacDonald. One thing I find very interesting about this type of arrangement is the option of changing chords in the background, emphasizing different nuances of a tune which you don't always pick up listening to a solo piper. If you're wondering about the noises that sound like birds flapping about. . .they are. The tune is also sometimes called, "The Desperate Battle of the Birds." Be sure and listen through to the end where Mr. MacDonald returns to the first line of the ground and sings it solo.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

War Story

Here's a very interesting link pertaining to today's anniversary. It is a five-minute presentation/interview on the participation of one Bill Millin in the Normandy Invasion in 1944.

By WWII the playing of pipes in battle was prohibited (having a piper play under fire, as seen numerous times in WWI, while an undeniable inspiration for the surrounding men, was unusually dangerous for the piper). Lord Lovat knew when an exception was in order; he ordered his piper, Bill Millin, to play the troops ashore on Sword Beach. But be sure and listen to the link above--it's much better to hear the piper himself tell it!

Here is a wee bit more on the episode, along with a photograph.

Friday, June 5, 2009

. . .But the Grammar Police Were There First

Here is an a story which has a thing or two to say about Neil Armstrong's remarks on the moon in 1969. You might recall the astronaut's phrase--it was short and to the point, something about a small step. Still within ten words (or was it ten?) people found questions that needed answering. Linguists, spectrographs, and poetic analysis ensued. Though the reseachers concluded that Armstrong had left an entire article out of his first sentence, they did admit his style was great. I shall refrain from comment. Just go read it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What Gets in Your Eyes?

Here comes the last weekend I will be spending in Tehachapi for a while. As of next week, I will officially be a resident of Sacramento County, with all the attendant joys and miseries which that implies. As most of you know, with the exception of my university years, Tehachapi is the only place I have ever lived, so I am inclined to grow a bit sentimental over leaving my kith (that would be TMPD) and kin (obvious culprits), the weather, the mountains, the local insects. . .the myriad of small pieces that have made the mosaic of life here truly beautiful. (That's a sappy metaphor, but I mean well by it.)

One thing I do not expect to miss is my smoke alarm. A smoke alarm is supposed to serve mankind, to save lives and property, not to lurk on the ceiling, winking its one green eye and plotting as to just how it might drive the human mind squealing over the brink of insanity. Most smoke alarms know their place, and keep it. My smoke alarm, however, is unprincipled.

The first day I was in the apartment was in November. I don't remember whether it was so early that I was fixing coffee, or whether it was late enough to warrant tea, but what I do remember is that I put a pot of water on the stove. Water. And the smoke alarm went off. My culinary skills are not exactly Cordon Bleu, but I had, until that time, prided myself on being able to boil water without burning it.

And that is how it has been ever since. The smoke alarm crouches on the ceiling so quietly, that I think it is asleep, and sometimes, perhaps, it is, but it is impossible to tell just when it might awaken, and pounce. I can understand if it complains about my using whichever burner has received the latest overflow of oatmeal, rice, or potatoes, but if I use a clean burner--a clean stove--why the attack? It has no morals, I tell you.

I am quietly cooking my supper, adding various ingredients to a pot of chicken broth. Work is behind me for the day. Time has slipped into a deep stream of silence that is only heightened by the occasional drum roll of sleet against the windows. I like cold weather very well, but it has been a long day, and I am looking forward to loosing myself in the soup. I add a handful of broccoli. The wind howls through the back yard. I toss in some noodles. The smoke alarm, which I had foolishly turned my back on, suddenly screams itself awake.

In apartments all around me, I can feel unknown neighbors putting on their shoes, grabbing axes and St. Bernard dogs, getting ready to beat down the door and rescue me. The fire department is suiting up, and calling in reinforcements from Bakersfield. In a single graceful motion, I wrench open the back door (the sleet is beating on the screen), bruise my knee on the corner of the counter, grab the desk chair, stumble over a couple of books, and leap up (nearly tipping the chair over) to the level of the alarm. It is winking at me ghoulishly. I, however, am a human being, a master over any mere collection of plastic and wires. I press "Reset," and the screaming stops. I look down, suspiciously at the stove. A bit of steam, but nothing more catastropic. It looks like a very normal, unburned pot of soup to me. There does not seem to be any smoke in the air. I look (unkindly) at the smoke alarm. It winks once, very sleepily.

I close the back door, put on an extra sweater, and begin to chop some ginger. I get a handful of green beans out of the freezer and add them to the soup. The alarm turns over in its sleep, takes a deep breath and begins to exercise its little electronic vocal cords again. It has a strange power over me. Just a word, and I panic (and so do the firemen, who, down the street, are hurrying into the jackets they just took off. They call for air support to stand by). There goes the door again, the knee in the counter, the desk chair (wisely, I had not moved it back to its place), and my finger on the reset button. This time, I make sure. I leave my finger there until my arm is stuck in a position permanently over my head, while icecicles three feet long form on the kitchen ceiling, and the sleet drifts across the soup, which has frozen solid. Then it is safe to come down.

If it were only a matter of recognizing the defects inherent in a bunch of wires and plastic, I wouldn't mind the whole problem, but the fact is, my smoke alarm is something more than wires and plastic, something more evil and calculating.

A couple of weeks ago, I was warming up corn tortillas in a frying pan. This was after I had started packing to move up north, and the house at large was, to put it quite mildly, a mess, with books stacked all over everything, and everything stacked all over books, with more books and everything on top of that. But I was hungry, so in the midst of this confusion, I was standing at the stove, eating tacos as fast as I could warm the tortillas, when from somewhere in the wilds of the books and everything, there was a monstrous sound. The smoke alarm was going off. The shrill insistence of the thing--it was like having a five pound mosquito nesting in your head--sent me into a panic. Still, my reflexes were good, as they kicked in. The door was thrown open, the knee was bruised, the desk chair--! The desk chair was buried under everything, with some books on top, with everything around it, and some more of everything on top of that. Even in my agitated state, I could see it would probably take me a couple of months to dig it out.

"Hee hee! Hee hee! Hee hee!" said the smoke alarm. This infuriated me. I grabbed the tallest thing that had the least amount of books on it, which was the bar stool. I am not good with heights. I dislike standing on the desk chair, so you will understand, this was a drastic measure. I dumped the books on top of everything on the floor. "Hee hee! Hee hee! Hee hee!" the alarm chortled. The mosquito in my head seemed to be attending a homecoming game, at least there were now several thousand more of them in there with her.

I thrashed around the floor under the alarm, trying to clear enough of everything away to give the stool a place to stand. "Hee hee! Hee hee!" It is a fairly tall stool, and I was hoping kneeling would bring me within reach of the reset button while still allowing me to keep my balance. "Hee hee! Knee knee!" the alarm taunted me. My fingers were just short of reaching the reset button. To make up those few inches I would have to stand up on that ungainly bit of furniture. I thought about how it would be when they found me with a broken neck among the books and everything. This idea pleased the smoke alarm. "Hee hee! Hee hee! Hee hee!" it said, realizing its evil machinations were close to their goal. "Hee hee! See See! See See!"

I stood up, quivering, slowly, and felt the reset button touching my finger, "Ye See! Ye See! Ye See!" the alarm screamed defiantly.

"You are only a machine," I said, and pushed the button.

"See--!" And the horrible, taunting voice was dead. The 3,796 mosquitoes in my head were suddenly gone. It was quiet, oh such a quiet! Still shaking, I climbed down from that Everest of a stool. Oh, silence is golden! Is platinum! Is diamonds! Is--

But why that awful echo that still whispered, "Ye See! Ye See!" with such calculated clarity? I looked up at the alarm, which was silent, smirking at me. Smirking, because when I looked at the stove, I did see. When I had gone out to battle the smoke alarm, I had left a tortilla in the frying pan, and now the tortilla was smoking.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Inevitable Slow Air

Yes, yes, I do have a thing for slow airs. Here's the second one this week already, but this is such a lovely arrangement I couldn't wait to post it. The musician (really, there is only one of him) is a gentleman from Israel named Ofer Levinger. The tune is Duncan Johnstone's "Farewell to Nigg". (I had the story of the tune in one of my books which is now in Carmichael, but I think it was written to commemorate the launching of an oil rig that was built at Nigg, in Scotland.)

Anyway, being fairly new (?) to the finer points of blogging and all, I'm always a little confused on whether everything on YouTube is up for grabs. I figure, if it was taped at a show, then it's already public anyway, but this being solo and all, I thought I'd double-check with Mr. Levinger himself before posting it. His words: "I post these videos to make other people happy as I am when I listen to these tunes."

If that is so, I think perhaps we are a little luckier than Mr. Levinger--I'm willing to bet that no matter how good the tune sounded the first time he heard it, it was not so rich as what we are treated to here:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

From the Archives

Somebody on the bagpipe forums brought up a fascinating website--a collection of the music of the Scottish fiddler* James Scott Skinner. Yes, his music, as in handwritten manuscripts, and, recordings from 1910 and 1922! And just in case you run out of things to read on this comprehensive site, they include a hefty bibliography, so you can start all over again.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Spirit of Scotland--On the Day

Here is an interesting video for those of you who are in a piping mood. This is a trailer for an in-the-works documentary about the Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band. (If you're not in a piping mood, see if it doesn't put you in one!) This band is quite unique in that its members are world-class solo players (and from all over the world, at that!) but they had only a week to rehearse together before entering the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow last year. As you will gather from some of the remarks at the beginning of the video, this was an unprecedented experiment. After all, there are plenty of other bands who have a reasonably high percentage of top-grade soloists, but even then, they are likely meeting at least twice a week throughout a good part of the year! The main idea, of course, is not to have a premire collection of pipers (which Spirit of Scotland certainly is!) but for the aforesaid pipers to be able to play as a band, which is a different matter altogether. But, lo and behold, they did it! They made it into the finals, and came out 11th overall, quite an impressive result.

Anyway, the video is not only an informative window into the behind-the-scenes work done by a pipe band, but a perfect introduction to some of today's greatest solo pipers.

Footnote: A couple of weeks ago, I was talking about the way a lot of players tend to use their own particular dialects of canntaireachd as a sort of extension of their spoken word. There at the very beginning of the video, you can see an example of Roddy MacLeod singing to establish the tempo of the set in very fine pipe-majorly style.

I embedded the video here since I thought it might be easier just to click and watch/listen, rather than following an extra link, but the restrictions of the blog cut a bit off the right side. You can watch the trailer bigger and better here, at the film's website: On the Day.