May 31, 2010

Old School: thoughts on c¨¨ol m¨°r with four piping legends – James Campbell of Kilberry

IS: Between musical ability and finger ability.

JC: You mean what you tend to spot? What you look for to spot musical ability?

IS: Yes, please.

JC: Oh, in piobaireachd playing the handling of the phrasing and the shading of the notes, playing different notes of different lengths. Not playing the same phrase in exactly the same way whenever it occurs, doing a subtle change as between the repeating of the various phrases.

IS: Do you think that it’s possible to make a player more musical?


  1. Something about his position and status made me long for some plain and ordinary piobaireachd players. And then there’s all the reputation stuff that makes you (me) kind of dread the article before even reading it. But then once started, he sounded quite reasonable and talked sense. He seemed to have a kind of stilted way of answering and sometimes I wanted to say-just tell us what you think about the question’. At times I wondered how much he really knew about the subject. Compared to the other two interviews it seemed more shallow and the ‘good’ at the end, and the question ‘Have you heard of John McColl’ made me wonder if he was pompous. But I found all that interesting, and was glad to read it, but somehow, I don’t think I’ll read this one again – unlike the other two which I read several times. Thanks for it though. I’ll be interested to see what others thought.