May 01, 2020

Mulhearn constructs creative new music on The Pipe Factory

The Pipe Factory, the fifth commercial recording by Glasgow-based piper John Mulhearn, was made in a semi-operational Victorian-era factory that makes clay pipes, with Mulhearn attempting to capture the ambient atmosphere of the site.Like his 2018 album, Pipes, Mulhearn experiments with sound, synthesizing effects from his Highland pipes in adventurous and creative ways. They also accessed percussive sounds like dripping taps and the flicking of reeds and clacking of valves, again pitched and manipulated, but with no artificial reverb, “reflecting the unique acoustics of the recording location” in Glasgow near the famous Barras Market.

The Pipe Factory is an expression of the impulse to create new and boundary shifting music that sheds the cultural baggage of a tradition that, in many eyes, is either wrapped up in a pseudo-military straight-jacket – with every aspect of Scottish kitsch on full display – or as self-parodying light entertainment.”

The new download/stream-only album comprises ten tracks available. “The paradox at the centre of the album is that the sound world that we hear could only have been created using electronic production techniques, yet the source of all of the sounds is purely organic.”

Mulhearn is one of the most creative forces in modern pipe music. He has continually pushed boundaries of light music and piobaireachd and is a joint-founder of The Big Music Society and the ten members of the piping collective, Tryst.

The Pipe Factory is available on Mulhearn’s Bandcamp site for downloading or streaming.

Remember, not only is an inexpensive download a permanent copy that you can take with you anywhere, it puts far more into the pocket of a performer and composer than a one-time stream.

pipes|drums caught up with Mulhearn for a video chat on April 26th to discuss The Pipe Factory.



Review: ‘Pipes,’ the new album by John Mulhearn
October 4, 2018

Something extraordinary this way comes: a solo piping album
April 18, 2018

Tryst kick-starting musical evolution
January 10, 2017

Big Music Society plans to create new opportunities for ceol mor
February 1, 2015

Mallaig & Morar: more Mulhearn
August 7, 2013

Mulhearn brings the Big Music to Celtic Connections
January 31, 2010

The Best of the Best: John Mulhearn
October 31, 2008






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