October 06, 2023

James McColl: the pipes|drums Interview from the Archives – Part 2

We continue with the second and final part of the May 2002 pipes|drums Interview with Jimmy McColl. In Part 1, McColl discussed his background as a coal-mining piper growing up in Shotts, Scotland, his immigration to Los Angeles in 1956, and the start of the theories he formulated through independent research on piobaireachd. In Part 2, the prescient piper goes into more detail about his ceol mor findings, including his discoveries on “GDE Gatherings.” An irony is that McColl’s being in Southern California in the pre-Internet era removed him from the piping establishment that would undoubtedly have worked to tamp down his then-radical conclusions on the art form. The amateur piping aristocracy had worked successfully to standardize ceol mor since the formation of the Piobaireachd Society in 1903.

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