January 15, 2014

New Breton pibroch project combines Highland pipes with flutes and guitars

Highland piper Xavier Boderiou of Brittany has made a name for himself with bands, solo competition, chanter manufacturing and reedmaking, and now he’s moving into “experimental music” in a new recording that combines pipes with flute and guitars in modern renditions of five classic piobaireachds.
Morenn showcases Boderiou with fellow Bretons Sylvain Barou and Jacques Pellen on flute and guitar. Boderiou says that the CD will be released in February, if all goes to plan – and the plan includes crowd-funding to subsidize the work.
“This unique project combines pipes, guitars and flute with a hint of experimental music around a centennial repertoire,” Boderiou said. “The result is surprising, nebulous, vague: Morenn.”
Boderiou said that the tunes featured on the album are “Clan Campbell’s Gathering,” “MacCrimmon’s Sweetheart,” “In Praise of Morag,” “Glengarry’s March,” and the ground of “The Park Piobaireachd No.2.”
Creative interpretations of classic piobaireachds are not new, but in the last year there has been a surge in interest, with both the Grade 1 ScottishPower and Inveraray & District pipe bands spotlighting ceol mor in significant concerts.
Boderiou is a member of the Grade 1 Bagad Cap Caval of Brittany, and has also played with the Grade 1 Simon Fraser University Pipe Band of Vancouver. A year ago he introduced four models of new pipe chanters, and he also manufactures popular RedWood drone reeds. He also competes regularly on the Scottish solo piping circuit.
Boderiou added that Morenn in Breton langage means “mist, haze.”


  1. No better way to get the big music across to the masses of non pipers then adding in some nice accompaniment. I remember Rob Mathieson doing Clan Campbell on the Ebb Tide album with backing instruments; very cool.

  2. Sounds as if it’s something along the lines of what I’ve been doing, but different instrumentation and using traditional piobaireachd rather than original, which I think is a great idea. Look forward to the result. Our Moon Cradle is now on YouTube. Four pipers, guitar, four singers, keyboardist, eleven dancers. And another ‘Alba Dreams’ is in the pipeline. A lot of work, but well worth the effort. Good wishes for the project.

  3. This sounds similar to what I’ve recently been doing with Moon Cradle, Black Haired Hector, Lament for the Old Man and others, all now on YouTube. Moon Cradle was for four pipers, string quartet, four singers, guitar, keyboard, eleven dancers. A lot of work but great fun and well worth the effort. Yours will use traditional piobaireachd tunes which I think is a great idea. Good wishes for the project and I’m looking forward to the end product. Here, we’re working on Alba Dreams, the next endeavor. When you get your crowdfunding going, let us know how to help.



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