Is anyone doing any experimentation with more modern keywork on UP or other bagpipes? I'm thinking of stuff similar to modern classical instruments such as flute, clarinet, oboe, etc. It seems like with modern keywork one might be able to get greater range and greater consistency of tone and volume than is possible with the limited keywork used currently on UP.
For instance, I'm coming from the world of recorders, and several people/companies are working to introduce keywork and adjustable windways to give the instrument wider range, tonal, and volume capabilities.
I'm aware of the extensive keywork on Northumbrian pipes, but I'm thinking of something more intricate than the one-key-per-hole style that seems to dominate keyed bagpipes. (For that matter, is anyone aware of any other bagpipes that have keys?)
Oh, and this brings up another question: is anyone aware of work being done to develop new forms of bagpipe? Today I happened upon the <a href="http://jubileeinstruments.messianic-webhosting.com/bagwhistle.htm">Bagwhistle</a>, which seems to implement what I've wondered for a while if it's possible -- a bagpipe with whistle-style sound production.
On another related subject, is anyone aware of easy-to-build reeded bagpipes that can be made from synthetic materials? I'm thinking something like the Penny Chanter, but with a parallel bore so it can be built with, say, 1/2" PVC pipe and a yogurt container single reed.
Okay, this is the last thing, I promise. Has anyone done any work to make a "bass" bagpipe? Using keys one could make a chanter that plays significantly lower than what's usually found in bagpipedom. Probably the lowest chanter I've heard is a Bulgarian kaba gaida, though I'm by no means an expert (I still haven't heard most types of bagpipe). There's an issue though with the kaba gaida in that it requires a lot of air. Is this an unavoidable problem? Could a chanter be made to produce a quiet sound to keep airflow down? (I tried a great highland bagpipe once and was astonished by both how much air it took and how eardrum-blowingly loud it was.)
Okay, I'm done now