June 14, 2020

Exclusive double debut: Lincoln Hilton unveils The Hilton Chanter and ‘Pablo’

Lincoln Hilton of Melbourne, Australia, has emerged as one of the world’s most innovative pipers. Early on, he recognized and harnessed the potential of the Internet to bring his compositions to a global piping and drumming audience. His Modern Piping business works to bring fellow composers together, and his YouTube channel provides a platform for debut performances, many of the videos garnering tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of views.

After the worldwide debut of R.S. MacDonald’s “Sir Timothy D’arte MacIntosh of Clachenfugle,” destined to be a modern classic 2/4 march, pipes|drums decided to make composition debuts a regular feature.

We asked Lincoln if he might have a new tune to share in a world-first on pipes|drums. He went one better – in a big way. Not only do we bring you his latest co position innovation, “Pablo,” but we’re delighted to announce the new Hilton Chanter, available starting from today from Modern Piping.

Lincoln Hilton writes:

Being indoors the past few months, I’ve had the chance to really explore my compositions and brainstorm new tune ideas. It’s been really encouraging to see many pipers around the world turning to write new piping tunes and posting them online for everyone to enjoy and I hope my new tune does the same.

One of my foundations as a composer is always to push myself to try things that haven’t been done before, including metric modulation on a 9/8 time signature. Welcome to my new tune, “Pablo.”

Inspired by all the online ceilidhs occurring during COVID, I wanted to provide listeners with an upbeat tune to dance at home and tap your feet to. I’ve always been deeply inspired by Gordon Duncan and listening to a few of his Spanish inspired melodies influenced the western vibe that Pablo ended up as. The crazy part about this tune that I want people to know is that … the first part AND the second part melodies are exactly the same as the third and fourth part melodies with no change in the duration of each note. The difference lies in the note groupings and how the melody is played, which makes them sound completely different!

For those who are interested in the technical side, the first and second part notes are grouped in four, whereas the third and fourth part notes are grouped in three. This is what really excites me about composing, seeing how far I can push the rules of music theory and bend them to make exciting tunes.

The photo of the sheet music below shows these groupings visually (note there is no key signature as it’s written in A-minor, C-naturals and F-naturals for this tune).

Click for full-size pdf.

“Pablo” marks a new exciting adventure for me with the launch of Modern Piping’s partnership with ES Session Chanter on our Hilton Chanter. For many years, I’ve wanted to launch my own practice chanter because I see them as more of an instrument than an item that’s “just for practice.” It blew my mind for years watching players practice “out of tune” and essentially training their ears to practice the wrong notes. It’s ironic because tuning is one of the highest priorities we have as bagpipers, so why do we train our ears to hear the wrong notes?

Over the years, I think Modern Piping has helped to reform practice chanters to a standard performance instrument starting with one of my earlier pieces, “Me and My Practice Chanter.” I’ve been a dedicated player of the ES Session Chanter for many years and the Hilton Chanter is the latest ESSC model with updated hole placement and a new reed seat to improve the sound and reed stability. Every new release of chanters improves and I can’t wait to see what we come up with now that we’ve partnered with ESSC.

(Since the publication of this story, the limited edition Hilton ES Session Chanter has sold out and is no longer available. For more information please visit: www.mdpiping.com/hiltonchanter.)

With everyone more at home these days, I’ve done the video of “Pablo” in an educational format with scrolling sheet music to help players learn the tune and play along with the video. “Pablo” is coupled with my arrangement of “Goldie’s,” written by one of my favourite whistle composers, Brian Finnegan. The sheet music can be viewed in the video below in a live format or is available from Volume 19 of Modern Piping with my arrangement of Goldie’s here.

You can enjoy this video below:

About the name

The name Pablo has been in my head for years and represents the tune perfectly as my idea of a western character riding horseback. Many musicians might feel the same lately, wanting to express their artistry through melodies and I suppose this tune represents that for me in my own way.

“Pablo” Sheet music

Click for full-size pdf.


Hilton Chanter

Sheet Music in Volume 19

Video produced by Modern Piping. Please email info@mdpiping.com if you’d like to commission a video with scrolling live sheet music.

Stay tuned to pipes|drums for more world premieres of original compositions and scores from our greatest living composers.






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