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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:25 pm 
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Location: Rhondda Fach, South Wales
In addition to playing pipes, I also collect old piping recordings (mostly on 78s but also occasionally on wax cylinders). I recently purchased a 78rpm recording of Patrick Fitzpatrick dating from 1917. The dealer's description of the record was so funny I thought it worth posting for shared amusement. The description of the sound of the drones made me laugh out loud :)

Rick

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10” 78rpm release on the Columbia Records label, label #A2309, by Patrick Fitzpatrick. This is the single of “Three Drops Of Brandy” b/w “Donneybrook Fair”. If you are looking for a fine Irish Tenor, or some Pub songs, I don’t think this would be of interest. However, if you are looking for an old 78 of Irish Bagpipe music playing Irish Jigs & Reels, perhaps this might be up your alley. I’ll tell you right up front, the bagpipes are audible, and Patrick Fitzpatrick is quite nimble-fingered with the playing. However, there are the occasional “honks” and “squawks” that sound like someone missed a note along the way. And though this doesn’t have much in the way of crackle or hiss, both sides have a continuous, strange, eerie (and kind of creepy, really) hum that might be the bagpipes getting inflated, I’m not sure. It’s odd though, and it sounds like some kind of tone that one might hear on a radio, like a short wave set, when one is between stations. Maybe not exactly like “UVB 76”, but darned close. The crackle and hiss really did not interfere with the sound, that continuous “hum” that will get to you though, and I think it’s actually supposed to be part of the music. Also, I honestly could not tell the difference between the two songs one bit. For all I know, this could be a double-A sided mis-print 78. This 78 is mystifying, to say the least. But it would be good for getting someone’s attention, especially if you want to “weird them out”!

For reference, here is a link to the recording :)

https://archive.org/details/PatrickFitz ... ookFairJig

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:38 pm 
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That is pretty amusing. :lol: Funnier the more you think about it! But for a second I couldn't believe he was talking about the drones.
Just wait until he stumbles upon Something else :)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:54 pm 
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Yep,
that is funny Rick! It reminds me of a time, quite a few years ago, in Australia ,when I played my pipes at a folk festival and the fella mixing the sound tried his best to get rid of the hum that had suddenly invaded his system.... :really:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:39 pm 
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non-UP, but an old anecdote is relevant:

Quote:
Welsh Harper and English Bagpiper

Last Sunday I came - a man whom the Lord God made - to the town of Flint, with its great double walls and rounded bastions; may I see it all aflame! An obscure English wedding was there, with but little mead - an English feast! and I meant to earn a shining solid reward for my harpers' art.

So I began, with ready speed, to sing an ode to the kinsmen; but all I got was mockery, spurning of my song, and grief. It was easy for hucksters of barley and corn to dismiss all my skill, and they laughed at my artistry, my well-prepared panegyric which they did not value; John of the Long Smock began to jabber of peas, and another about dung for his land.

They all called for William the Piper to come to the table, a low fellow he must be. He came forward as though claiming his usual rights, though he did not look like a privileged man, with a groaning bag, a paunch of heavy guts, at the end of a stick between chest and arm. He rasped away, making startling grimaces, a horrid noise from the swollen belly, bulging his eyes; he twisted his body here and there, and puffed his two cheeks out, playing with his fingers on a bell of hide - unsavoury conduct, fit for the unsavoury banqueters. He hunched his shoulders amid the rout, under his cloak, like a worthless ballad-monger; he snorted away, and bowed his head until it was on his breast, the very image of a kite with skilful zeal preening his feathers.

The pigmy puffed, making an outlandish cry, blowing out the bag with a loud howl; it sang like the buzzing of a hornet, that devilish bag with the stick in its head, like a nightmare howl, fit to kill a mangy goose, like a sad bitch's hoarse howl in its hollow kennel; a harsh paunch with monotonous cry, throat muscles squeezing out a song, with a neck like a crane's where he plays, like a stabbed goose screeching aloud. There are voices in that hollow bag like the ravings of a thousand cats; a monotonous, wounded, ailing, pregnant goat - no pay for its hire.

After it ended its wheezing note, that cold songstress whom love would shun, Will got his fee, namely bean-soup and pennies (if they paid) and sometimes small halfpennies, not the largess of a princely hand; while I was sent away in high vexation from the silly feast empty handed. I solemnly vow, I do forswear wretched Flint and all its people and its piper! That they should be slaughtered is all my prayer, my curse in their midst and on their children; sure, if I go there again, may I never return alive!

Anon, 15th century. Variously attributed to Lewis Glyn Cothi or Tudur Penllyn.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:36 pm 
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geoff wooff wrote:
Yep,
that is funny Rick! It reminds me of a time, quite a few years ago, in Australia ,when I played my pipes at a folk festival and the fella mixing the sound tried his best to get rid of the hum that had suddenly invaded his system.... :really:



He got nauseous?

I do think if you're not used to those drones they can send a little tickle up your back,all the way to your guts, if your not careful. :-?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:46 am 
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Once an old lady came to comment on my playing in a pub in Kerry. She said she loved it and said that she hadn't seen that instrument before but was pretty sure it is the didgeridoo from Australia, she wasn't kidding. Another good one from Tralee: I was playing at a wedding and was introduced to the crowd as a player of the ukulele pipes.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:47 am 
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Funny, when I was busking one day, someone also asked me if I was playing the didgeridoo! Also, when actually playing the didgeridoo, someone asked if it was a bouzouki. She must have been thinking bazooka. People are endlessly fascinating...

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:28 am 
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Someone wrote about in the Pipers' Review years ago about a copy of the Drones & Chanters 2 being returned, due to the defect in the pressing...humming sound...

Denis Brooks used to distribute tapes of piping for the US pipers club in the 80s, great music, Rowsome, Dorans, Reck; he'd inevitably include this Fitzpatrick side, which John Walsh said drove him a bit nuts, Fitz was only an OK piper, and with this massive set of pipes at his disposal chose to use the same tap on the bass regulator G note at the end of every bar, in monotonous regularity...granted I think this disc was intended as what Jimmy Shand later termed "Strict Tempo," i.e., intended for dancers.

First tionol I ever went to Tom Standeven showed up with Fitz's pipes, "one of Taylor's masterpieces" as O'Neill put it. Metal bass and double bass regulators, and the toneholes could be slid around on them, too...crazy. Tom said this wasn't really practical, you'd get the tonehole in the spot that didn't leak and leave it there. Some student of his up in BC has that set. Was surprised at how mellow the regs were.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:05 am 
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[THREAD REVIVAL - MOD]

This is about the appearance of the pipes, not the sound: I once heard someone say uilleann pipes looked "like an antique vacuum cleaner."

[That's "hoover" for you across the pond.]


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