January 26th, 2004

The Librarian

The uncloseted (and proud of it) bagpipe fiend

Some of you may have gathered, over the years, that I'm rather fond of bagpipe music. Not pipe bands ... to me those are noisy overkill of an instrument that was never meant to be played together in large numbers ... but traditional and modern pipe music with one, two or, at most, three, pipers (and I only allow the three because beloved Macumba, a band combining bagpipes with Caribbean steel drums, has three pipers).

Over the weekend I've been listening to, enjoying, and being amazed by a 2-CD set, borrowed from the public library, called "Global Bagpipes" ... this album has representative music from every culture/country/region that still has a bagpipe tradition. I had known that the pipes are ancient and were once widely played all over western Europe (surviving in Scotland, Ireland and Galician region of Spain), I have now learned that ancient bagpipe territory included eastern Europe, Scandinavia, North Africa, the Middle East, East Asia and India. WOW!!!!!

The music on this CD is incredible, including tracks from (ready now?): Iran, Republic of the Mari (bounded by the Volga and the Vetluga Rivers), Azerbaijan, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, the Greek Islands (the style of the bagpipe and its name differ from the mainland), Malta, Tunisia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Sweden, southern Italy, Spain (Galicia), France (central, Limousin, Brittany), Netherlands/Belgium, Scotland (highland, lowland and "small" pipes), England (Northumbria), and Ireland.

I LOVE living in this age of intercultural exposure!!!!!
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    Bulgarian pipes and sizzling of pork steak
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