MacLellan rolls out new pipe chanter at Toronto recital (HD video)

Published: March 31, 2012
(Page 1 of 1)

A new pipe chanter from Ayrshire Bagpipes of Troon, Scotland, developed with the renowned piper Colin MacLellan over the last year made its public debut at a recital by MacLellan in downtown Toronto at a recital at Mosspark Armoury, the regimental home of the 48th Highlanders of Canada.

MacLellan performed before a large crowd for approximately 40 minutes with the new “AyrFire” chanter, which, according to him, is aimed at both solo and band markets at a suggested retail price around £110 and £120. The instrument will be available from MacLellan’s PipeReeds.com business and Ayrshire Bagpipes.  

“I’ve worked for a long time with Ayrshire Bagpipes owner Brian Mulhearn on the AyrFire chanter,” MacLellan said. “There’s a space out there in the market for a top class-chanter that doesn’t cost the earth to buy. There were three aims: great tone, a chanter that fits the fingers and is easy to play, and a chanter that is streamlined, straight, and does not have any funny tapering on the outside in an attempt to get the note intervals in the right place.”

MacLellan described the new chanter as “the best I’ve ever had my hands  on,” and said it will is available only in plastic so far.

“I am a great fan of plastic chanters, and have played a synthetic chanter for many years,” he added. “This chanter is about getting the best chanter on the market out there in plastic. It will be made in wood as well, but the plastic will be better.  It has a great piobaireachd high-G.”

A professional reedmaker, MacLellan said that the chanter was designed using his chanter reeds as “the default,” but stressed that it will work well with any reed “as long as they are good.”

” £275 is far too much money for someone to put out on a chanter that may or may not be good,” he said. “We hope with this chanter that people will put out just over £100 and be guaranteed of a tremendous chanter. That’s the aim.”

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TIP OF THE DAY
Quality reed selection is a pre-requisite to obtaining a good tone in a pipe corps. Four criteria to consider when testing reeds are balance, vibrancy, volume and strength. Check the High A Low A balance against a single sounding tenor drone – if these two notes are in the ballpark chances are the rest of the notes can be tuned.
Stewart MacKenzie, P-M, Manawatu Scottish