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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:14 am 
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Location: Sequim, WA (skwim)
We moved here to Sequim over eleven years ago. Having always been suburbanites the quiet was striking. We're a quarter mile off a little used road, surrounded by trees, even the radiant floor heat is silent. We quickly grew to treasure the silence.

The only street lighting nearby is designed to prevent light pollution so we get a glorious Milky Way, something I don't remember seeing from home previously. For astronomy we are especially lucky as an hour drive takes us a mile high surrounded by the Olympic mountains.

Given the silence I try to practice in my little workshop, else my wife is liable to complain.

As a drummer I play in quiet bands. I've been using brushes but realized that decades of rock drumming had made me forget the original technique I learned when I was twelve: strike using only your wrists, keeping the arms still. Jazz drummers have another technique, using only the fingers with the wrists and arms still. I need to relearn, learn whichever technique will allow me to play at acoustic volume levels with sticks.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:26 pm 
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Sequimite wrote:
The only street lighting nearby is designed to prevent light pollution so we get a glorious Milky Way, something I don't remember seeing from home previously. For astronomy we are especially lucky as an hour drive takes us a mile high surrounded by the Olympic mountains.


That sounds lovely!

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 8:53 am 
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It sounds lovely but the trade off would be you’re in the car anytime you need anything or want to do anything musical.

It seems to me we ought to be able as a society to make urban spaces quieter and less brightly lit. I have some hopes for electric cars reducing noise levels. But it’s low on the priority list for most people


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:14 am 
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I've been thinking a bit about this thread ... well, this thread as it has been since Sequimite stepped into it. I moved to where I am now 27 years ago. Prior to that, I'd always lived in towns or, latterly, for a long time, in a largeish city - Cardiff. Where I am now is very rural, on the edge of the Forest of Dean, with very few houses around, and forest on one side and meadows on the other.

When I first moved here, I couldn't get over how noisy this place is compared with being in a city, especially at night. It's deafening at times, what with the shrieking and barking of foxes, the shrieking and hooting of owls, the grunting of the wild boar, the sudden whirrr of something unidentifiable and so on. And that's on a still night. When there's the least hint of a breeze, there's the sighing of the wind, the creaking and groaning of the trees, the rattling and hammering sound of our weather cock being turned and swayed by the wind, and still, those pesky owls.

It used to be worse, but fortunately, because of the forethought of government policy and agricultural practices over the last couple of decades, most of the wildlife is dying out now, so we get some peace.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:47 pm 
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PB+J wrote:
I have some hopes for electric cars reducing noise levels. But it’s low on the priority list for most people


Unfortunately, there's already been a major problem identified with quiet vehicles, electric or not. Pedestrians can't hear them as well, and car-pedestrian accidents are more likely.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:20 pm 
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PB+J wrote:
It sounds lovely but the trade off would be you’re in the car anytime you need anything or want to do anything musical.


Remarkably, we are 3 1/2 miles from a Costco. We're near the top of a hill surrounded by 5 and 10 acre parcels at 500 feet with Sequim downtown at 300 feet, a 1 1/2 mile from our house. Sequim still has cows grazing in fields along the main street. There is a music scene in Sequim but the nearest very musical town, with almost every genre including a weekly Irish jam, is Port Townsend, 40 minutes away. 20 minutes the other way is Port Angeles the biggest town on the Olympic Peninsula at 35,000. Most of my gigs are in Port Angeles.

Our wildlife isn't noisy except for the coyotes and occasionally our chickens. A mountain lion took a neighbor's goat last week; they, the bears, bobcats, elk, deer, etc are silent.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:49 pm 
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Sequimite, having been in the National Forests there, I would remind you, that you also have various owls, but you have to listen carefully for them. If you are close to some water, salt or fresh, you might be thrilled to here the call of one of the Loon families.

Bob

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 8:07 pm 
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PB+J wrote:
It sounds lovely but the trade off would be you’re in the car anytime you need anything or want to do anything musical.

It seems to me we ought to be able as a society to make urban spaces quieter and less brightly lit. I have some hopes for electric cars reducing noise levels. But it’s low on the priority list for most people

Yes... ultimately that's why I'm a city person more than a country person. Even when I used to live in a small-ish town in the suburbs, it was no fun to drive 10-40 miles to do things I wanted to do, go places I wanted to go, etc.

But, sometimes peace and quiet are so nice. The kind that come when you're not crammed in with a bunch of other people! And nature, too.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:46 am 
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About rural living, I most of my growing-up years living in the desert (an actual desert with sand dunes and coyotes and roadrunners) and I well remember the profound silence and the lack of air and light pollution so at night you could look up and see the vast universe, the Milky Way and all.

Coolest was when you got word of a meteor shower so at night you'd run up a hill and lay on your back at the summit to watch the show.

Now that I live in the suburbs of Greater Los Angeles these things are distant memories.

About chords and Highland pipes, it's not the complex harmonies that my ear craves but the simple ones, the basic moving from the I to the IV chord while the melody is resting on the tonic, or here in this example moving from the I to the vii while the melody is resting on the 3rd (at 0:57) which is lovely and essential:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7001WDL135I


(But why oh why couldn't they have tuned the bass drum??)

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:09 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
About chords and Highland pipes, it's not the complex harmonies that my ear craves but the simple ones, the basic moving from the I to the IV chord while the melody is resting on the tonic, or here in this example moving from the I to the vii while the melody is resting on the 3rd (at 0:57) which is lovely and essential:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7001WDL135I(But why oh why couldn't they have tuned the bass drum??)

Oh yes, I do definitely agree with you about the bass drum. :o

But that wasn't the only thing that disturbed me about that video. I can't quite get my head around the fact that that doesn't sound remotely Scottish to me. I can't help feeling that the elements are there, but somehow, the essence is not ... odd ... I'd like to be able to analyse it, but I just can't see/hear what's wrong ... I'm wondering if it might be something to do with the tuning overall ... too ET?

:-?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:02 am 
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It's the overall style, arrangement and effect, Ben. There's nothing Scottish there except the pipes and drums, and the grand treatment with fanfares, choir and classical (with a small 'c') harmonic idiom strikes me as more 'Hollywood'. Which may still be stirring, but takes something already more Scottish by association than origin further from even imagined trad roots. Not saying I don't like the tune (I do) or that arrangement won't stir Scots (I'm sure it does), but just that there's no reason why it should sound particularly Scottish.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:41 am 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
It's the overall style, arrangement and effect, Ben. There's nothing Scottish there except the pipes and drums, and the grand treatment with fanfares, choir and classical (with a small 'c') harmonic idiom strikes me as more 'Hollywood'. Which may still be stirring, but takes something already more Scottish by association than origin further from even imagined trad roots. Not saying I don't like the tune (I do) or that arrangement won't stir Scots (I'm sure it does), but just that there's no reason why it should sound particularly Scottish.

Fair enough. And I think you're right.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:00 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
pancelticpiper wrote:
About chords and Highland pipes, it's not the complex harmonies that my ear craves but the simple ones, the basic moving from the I to the IV chord while the melody is resting on the tonic, or here in this example moving from the I to the vii while the melody is resting on the 3rd (at 0:57) which is lovely and essential:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7001WDL135I(But why oh why couldn't they have tuned the bass drum??)

Oh yes, I do definitely agree with you about the bass drum. :o

But that wasn't the only thing that disturbed me about that video. I can't quite get my head around the fact that that doesn't sound remotely Scottish to me. I can't help feeling that the elements are there, but somehow, the essence is not ... odd ... I'd like to be able to analyse it, but I just can't see/hear what's wrong ... I'm wondering if it might be something to do with the tuning overall ... too ET?

:-?


Partly that it has become a Production-- yes, with a capital P. 1. It's not a "Scottish" performance... it's the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with some bagpipes thrown in. 2. The impression I get is of "so we got a pipe band... we also have all these other people, let's make them fit in." It's a hodgepodge.


pancelticpiper wrote:
About chords and Highland pipes, it's not the complex harmonies that my ear craves but the simple ones, the basic moving from the I to the IV chord while the melody is resting on the tonic, or here in this example moving from the I to the vii while the melody is resting on the 3rd (at 0:57) which is lovely and essential:


I guess I should have been more specific. I meant "complex" as in "something more, harmonically, than someone else in the band playing seconds."

I'll listen to Highland Cathedral either way, and appreciate the differences... but I vastly prefer an organ playing with the pipe band than a brass band, if there needs to be something else. Partly the sound (as I said, I'm really not into brass bands, nor do I think they blend well with Highland pipes; it's like when your jazz cousin and your opera cousin decide to get together and jam) and partly that the brass band is just going to drown out and compete with the pipes.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:24 am 
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benhall.1 wrote:
I can't quite get my head around the fact that that doesn't sound remotely Scottish to me.


Your ear is accurate: Highland Cathedral isn't remotely Scottish, but was composed by two German pop musicians.

However it became ridiculously popular in Scotland! When my wife and I were there in 2004 Highland Cathedral had literally become what we Americans call "elevator music" (lift music). EVERY shop we entered, every restaurant, every hotel lobby, even the LIFTS had Highland Cathedral playing seemingly on an endless loop.

The Scottish National Rugby side walks onto the pitch to its strains; it's essential at every match.

It has been threatening to be adopted as Scotland's National Anthem. Somebody wrote words. OMG can it be stopped?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:34 am 
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Now that, Richard, is really interesting. I was wondering if maybe it had become Scottish in the way that Danny Boy has become Irish? (Not exactly a perfect analogy, I know.)

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