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Niel Gow on the border pipes
http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=96666
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Author:  Will Woodson [ Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:59 am ]
Post subject:  Niel Gow on the border pipes

Hi folks. Nate Banton and myself have been working away this year on expanding the capabilities of the border pipes. I finished my personal set back in December, and have been playing away getting used to the new chanter. Here's a link to recording I made of a tune that uses the full range of the set, the well-known "Niel Gow's Lament for his Second Wife": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P3_rH5I7dM

Let me know what you think.

Author:  ckrusor [ Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Niel Gow on the border pipes

I like that tune and your new set sounds great. What is the drone configuration on this set? Contrabass, bass, baritone, tenor, alto? What wood did you use? How complex is the keying of the chanter? High B, High C, Fnat, Cnat...? I'm not a pipemaker or a border pipe player, so I might not completely understand the significance of the innovations on this set, but I've been looking forward to hearing more about it and seeing some videos of it ever since I saw that video of you demonstrating the contrabass drone.

Author:  Will Woodson [ Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Niel Gow on the border pipes

Thanks for the kind words. The drones are indeed contrabass, bass, baritone, tenor, and alto, although I don't use the alto in the video. The chanter has six key: high C#/C, high B, high G#, low G#, low F#, and low E. There's a bit of engineering involved, but the keys are really no more complicated than the keywork on a wooden flute or uilleann pipe chanter.

Author:  Peter Duggan [ Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Niel Gow on the border pipes

Curious why you went for the high G# key? (I've got the Garvie chanter with high B and C keys which also produce C# together, but get the G# with O|XXO|XXXO.)

Author:  Will Woodson [ Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Niel Gow on the border pipes

The high G# key is a bit redundant, to be honest--I've got a great crossfingered G# on my chanter and find myself using the key only when I'm really sitting on the note for a while. The logic behind it was to make sure that I'd always have the option for a dead accurate G#.

Author:  bogman [ Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Niel Gow on the border pipes

I've got a high B on my Garvie set which is handy but a bit awkward when playing certain intervals, don't know what would make that easier. Very interesting pipes Will, keep up the good work!

Author:  Will Woodson [ Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Niel Gow on the border pipes

Bogman: Thanks! Regarding the high B, I know what you mean regarding the awkwardness in certain intervals, particularly when moving from the bottom hand. I've found that in a lot of cases the quick high A that sounds when moving the thumb up to the B key is musically sound, or at least unobtrusive. However, on my chanter I've also found that opening up the high C key with the rest of the chanter covered also sounds an accurate high B, which makes for a nice alternative in some of the tricker passages. Of course, you need the C key to be there in the first place for that to work...

Author:  Will Woodson [ Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Niel Gow on the border pipes

Following up, here's a pair of reels on the set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTHTaNcEKvU

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