Jamie Elder launches reedmaking business
With a decade of experience in reedmaking, Jamie Elder of Auchtermuchty, Scotland, has started a chanter reed making business with the launch of Elder Reeds.
The Auchtermuchty-based Elder has made a name for himself as a prizewinning solo piper in Scotland, taking awards in the Dunvegan Medal and other events, and as a member of Inveraray & District since 2013, and his reeds are already available from McCallum Bagpipes and Ti ar Sonerien in France.
He said that his reeds have been in a testing phase and have already gained prizes at the Glenfiddich Championships, though he didn’t provide specifics.
With a market that seems to be bursting with well-established and newer reedmakers, Elder said, “A good reed will always speak for itself. The proof is in the pudding, and that would be my intention.”
My goal for when I started to design the reed was to make a straight cut chiseled reed that could withstand the excess or
extra moisture that can be caused when using a synthetic bag set-up. – Jamie Elder
What makes the new Elder reed different?
Elder said that they are designed specifically for those playing a synthetic pipe bag.
“My goal for when I started to design the reed was to make a straight cut chiseled reed that could withstand the excess or extra moisture that can be caused when using a synthetic bag set-up,” he said. “Having been a maker for a long time and trying numerous reeds, I have experienced firsthand how hard it can be to find reeds that can withstand the extra moisture while still needing to sound first-rate, not flatten off too much, not sharpen up too much, not become too easy or spongy, and not become crowy on high A and high G. Using a synthetic bag set up gives you all the freedom in the world with keeping the drones dry, but most players would still prefer not to play a tube connected to the chanter as it takes something away. So, finding reeds that tick all these boxes can be a laborious task unto itself.”
Elder said that his website will go live in a few days. Elder Reeds are the latest reedmaker to be based in the Fife region of Scotland, with strong evolution from R.T. Shepherd & Son, which has been operating for nearly 50 years. In addition to Elder Reeds, G1 Reeds has in 11 years become one of the world’s foremost reedmakers, and Gold Medallist and former pipe-major Grade 1 Police Scotland Fife Douglas Murray and acclaimed solo piper and former pipe-major of the now defunct Grade 1 Dysart & Dundonald Brian Lamond are also in the business.
A few sound files provided by Jamie Elder of his reeds used in various pipe chanters:
With a McCallum chanter:
With a Naill chanter: