Rockets in Robertson’s and a few other odds and ends

First up we have a slow air by Sean Tracy as posted on the Bob Dunsire Forum. Here is a direct link to the sheet music as of right now. It’s still a work in progress on my part but the tune is quite nice, with a new embellishment or two. It is played on my friend’s 1950’s Robertson’s for which he just recently received a set of glass fiber Rocket drone reeds by Mark Lee. I am currently setting the chanter (Colin Kyo) with a Husk reed so it’s still a little out but this is the best I got today. It’s a pretty neat tune.

Farewell to Amherst Shore (Sean Tracy)

Edit: Another version of the tune on my MacPherson’s with a carbon fiber Rocket bass apparently made for Robertson’s but seems to work quite well in my pipe. Tenors are Kinnaird. Just listen for the harmonics on B! Also, the run to the C is closed a bit to make it sound less happy and more sad, as the composer intended.

Farewell to Amherst Shore twice through

Next we have the Gellaitry’s with a slow air, some small reels, and then the big comp reel Lachlan MacPhail. My father has played the last tune for as long as I remember, and therefore so have I. It was also the reel in the MSR set when I played with Lyon College and got 2nd in grade 3B at the Scottish Championships in Dumbarton in 2001. However, my favorite rendition of the tune was by Iain MacFadyen from an early 1980’s Grant’s Piping Championship album I had on tape and have just recently repurchased off iTunes. You’ll notice other tunes in that MSR performance included Kantara to el Arish and Inverary Castle, other staples in my competition MSR repertoire. One thing about Iain’s playing, it isn’t the most technically perfect performance compared to a few of the others on the album, however, you WILL be entertained. He leaves nothing behind in his playing of Lachlan MacPhail, or any other tune for that matter, and in my opinion is more entertaining and flat out bagpipe-ish than tunes presented more carefully. Just a few misses here and there whilst giving the melody everything he has. Recently I’ve tried cutting the tune quite a bit as it would seem a lot my playing has suffered from over roundness. However, as Iain plays it, this tune really requires some gusto and can take a little roundness and I’ve readopted this style for the tune as the over dwelling really just killed the flow. Two times through just for Iain, a la Grant’s/Glenfiddich style. The drones are a little out, blame it on my laziness.

Fair Maid, Lady Doll Sinclair, Hen Wife’s Daughter, Captain Lachlan MacPhail of Tiree

Lastly, we have one of my go to 2/4 marches. Surprisingly, between offering this tune along with Cowal Gathering for several years now, Al McMullin was the only judge to pick it, with all the others: Jack Lee, Bob Richardson, and Ken Liechti, picking Cowal Gathering 3 years in a row at the same competition. I guess it took a trip to a different games to get the other tune. Anyways, that’s all beside the point. The tune is Major Manson’s Farewell to Clachantrushal and the point being the cut C at the end of the part in this tune, which is fairly unique for this genre. I have for quite some time fiddled with other embellishments, one of them being an embellishment of the darado, or bubbly note: {GdGcG} as found in Susan MacLeod, some versions of Charlie’s Welcome, and a few other tunes. Well, what I call the daradodo, because potty humor entertains me, is as follows: {GdGcGBG} all the way down to A and I figured it would be cute to substitute the daradodo in for the cut C at the end of the part in Major Manson’s. And here is the product, I think played on my Henderson’s on one of those days where the fingers aren’t really working that well and are all mushy feeling.

Major Manson’s Farewell to Clachantrushal