April 09, 2005

Mortality combat

What is going on in solo piping these days? Every time I look around there’s another older piper making a recording.

First, 82-year-old Donald MacPherson makes his first record since the dawn of the CD. Then 63-year-old Bill Livingstone (a young pup compared with MacPherson) comes out with his eight-volume “Piobaireachd Diary.” Now there’s a record by Davey Hutton, the former-Muirheads pipe-sergeant who in his late seventies decided to hit the recording studio.

What next? Samples of Angus MacPherson’s playing in a new hip-hop mix?

But, meanwhile, the Northern Meeting and Argyllshire Gathering seem to be sending a message to pipers in their thirties and early forties that they’ve had jolly well enough time to do whatever, ushering in pipers in their twenties.

For solo piping, is it the age of the young and the old, and not a lot in between?





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