The repository of recorded tunes by the renowned Vancouver-based piper Jack Lee now includes every composition in all 16 Piobaireachd Society Collection books, with the Lee & Sons Tune Library numbering 280 piobaireachds and some 3,500 compositions in total.
In 2015, Lee completed all 15 Piobaireachd Society books, only to have Book 16 of the Collections released a short time later.
Twenty-four new piobaireachds are featured in Book 16, so the work was prodigious, even for the master piper.
“I finished recording and uploading the first 15 books two years ago,” Lee said. “No sooner had I recorded the first 15, the Society published Book 16. I really enjoyed studying, playing and recording Book 16. There are some terrific tunes in there.”
Lee cited “Cave of Gold,” “Hail to my Country,” and “The Sword’s Lament” as stand-out tunes as well as the alternative setting for “Glengarry’s Lament.”
“But there is one piobaireachd, ‘The Piper’s Salute to his Master,’ which takes piobaireachd complexity to a whole new level,” Lee added. “Previously, I had regarded the ‘Nameless Lament from the MacArthur Manuscripts’ as the most difficult piece ever played. ‘The Piper’s Salute to his Master’ is much more difficult. The technical and memory requirements are really something. The tune is just under 28 minutes in length, so the piper’s endurance is tested like no other piobaireachd ever published.”
The compositions on the site are each recorded by Lee on the full pipe, and include a downloadable pdf manuscript.
Lee said that all of the piobaireachds are public domain, and he obtained permission to reproduce those that are still under copyright, which is the life of the composer/arranger plus 70 years in the UK and United States. In Canada, copyright is life plus 50 years, but legislation is expected soon to change that to 70 years.
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