Monday, October 27, 2003


2nd in Richmond

The pibroch-learning continues apace. I seem to have the ground down quite well, as well as a couple of the variations. Other variations, I am struggling with tempo, mainly to get them slow enough. But so far, I'm happy with it, it's sounding very good. I expect to start working on the Crunluath a Mach variation in earnest this week, and hopefully within a month, I'll be able to perform it straight through with some facility.

I talked to EJ Jones, who has started a smallpipe shop in the last few months, and is now playing pipes of his own make. I'm going to buy a set of Scottish Smallpipes from him (at what is really a bargain price!), and expect a Christmas delivery. I'll probably visit friends in Houston as an excuse to picke them up in person, and see the shop for myself.

The mandolin goes well also. I'm learning a lot about the difference between Irish and Scottish styles through this, namely the Irish emphasis on melodic variation (as opposed to a Scottish emphasis on ornamental variation). My triplets/birls are getting better, as is my plucking hand in general.

The fiddle continues to be my strongest instrument by far: I've been working on jigs (especially in odd keys) and hornpipes in the last month, and preparing for the competition at the Richmond Highland Games and Celtic Festival last weekend. This time I competed in Adult-Open grade, and the judge was John Turner again. I played Archibald MacDonald of Keppoch as the air, and for the MSR I played The 24th Guards Brigade at Anzio, The Braes of Mar, and Jenny Dang the Weaver. In the end, though my average score was no higher than last time, I took 2nd place in Open. Huzzah!

More images:
Image 1
Image 2
Image 4
Image 5
Image 6

The winner of Adult-Open, Cassandra Smith-Christmas (whose father is a drummer in the CAPD) was quite good though, and also took 2nd in the Irish Fiddle competition earlier in the day. I have the feeling we'll be competing neck-and-neck for a while. The competition was kind of thin for this event, only 6 or so people competing in Adult-Open, and the real hot-shots were away. This isn't my year to win, and I don't expect next year to be either. But with a few outings where I place "in the money" (literally: I'm being mailed a check, apparently) at the smaller games, and hopefully my competition poise and confidence will increase, so I'm ready to take the stage by storm when it is my year to win.

The other instruments have taken a rest this month: bodhran, uilleann pipes, flute, and cittern have largely sat on their stands. That changes starting today.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?