The SCUPC had a surprise visit from pipemaker Tim Briton to their January meeting.
The SCUPC Spring Tionól went very well. Mickey Dunne was in fine form and even got going on the reed making!
Another nice meeting of the SCUPC took place this February. Highlights were my daughter playing Gabriel's childrens little "F" set and playing Michael Eskin's chanter... cough cough!

Jim Reilly sent in a couple of nice shots from the Irish Arts Week held in East Durham, NY this year. Here's what he had to say for himself, "Just back from a great week of music at the Annual Celtic Irish Arts Week in East Durham, NY. Great classes, teachers, sessions and craic. I'm sending along two photos in the event you wanted them for your publication. Perhaps you'll get some better ones from the professionals. One photo shows Benedict Koehler and Brian MacNamara at an impromptu performance for their combined classes on the final day. The second is the Pipers Concert, also on the final day with Ireland, Canada and the US represented by, from left, Brian MacNamara, Benedict Koehler, Debbie Quigley and Jerry O'Sullivan. All were teaching classes, running sessions and doing concerts throughout the week, along with always being available to talk with students."
Amherst, Massachusetts fiddler and friend to uilleann piping, Naka Ishii, took these great photos and wrote this article. The subject is a magnificent old Egan set.... thanks Naka!

The Egan Set at the MFA
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Uilleann pipes (mid 1800s) from the Musical Instrument Collection of the MFA, Boston, MA. It is not playable. It was on view for Benedict Koehler's talk 6 Aug 2008. From Francis O'Neill's book, "Irish Minstrels and Musicians": Michael Egan - Among bagpipe makers none holds higher rank than the subject of this sketch. His name engraved on the stock of an instrument was a synonym for purity of tone and a guarantee of first-class workmanship since early in the nineteenth century. Exact dates are unascertainable at this late day, but some leading facts in the life of this fine musician and excellent mechanic can be stated with certainty. He belonged to the town of Glenamaddy, barony of Ballymoe, County Galway, according to Mr. Burke, who associated with him in New York City. John Cummings, of San Francisco, who enjoyed his acquaintance at Liverpool away back in the fifties, says Egan hailed from the village of Cultymaugh, in the County Mayo.

I found a few nice of photos of Michael Reagh & Jean Ritchie at http://yeahpot.com/pickow/george.html Looks like George is holding a Kennedy set there.
In the same wanderings as above I came accross this photo of Seamus Ennis I hadn't included on the website yet.

Some interesting photos of James Gandsey "(King of the Kerry Pipers), 1767 - 1857" arose recently on the C&F message board. They are of the famed Piper Gandsey's Coyne set pitched in C with chanter by O'Meally and bellows by Crowley. They are now, disgracefully hung, on a wall in Jimmy O'Brien's bar in Kerry!!! Not to be confused with the piper Jimmy O'Brien-Moran of course.

The Mercer Museum, Philadelphia, Taylor Bros. set of Irish OOleean Bagpipes. This is what the museum has to say about the set:
Object Title Irish (Uileann) Bagpipes
Accession Number 23484
Object Name Bagpipe
Date circa 1880
Artists/Makers/Location Taylor, William (Craftsman) (North America, United States, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Late 19th C.)
Object Description Aerophone. Irish "union" pipes. Two octave range. Leather bellows, faced on obverse and reverse with wood. Obverse of bellows has an ivory air intake hole, decorated with three concentric circles. Above hole is silver tear-shaped decoration with incised and beaded edges. Two brass plates fit around both ends of top pieces. Two holes in each through which is tied rawhide lacing. Obverse has leather non-return valve which is fitted to an inlet pipe attached to windbag. Three leather straps with silver buckles. Goatskin windbag (covered with green felt), with orifice into which is bound ebony and brass inlet pipe and one leather non-return valve with cylindrical silver end; another larger orifice into which is bound a cylindrical wooden (with silver ferrules) "stock" with six bored perforations at lower end. Bass, tenor and baritone drones of single reed type without finger holes; narrow cylindrical bores. Three additional pipes (regulators) with keys allow the piper to play chords (using the wrist or underside of hand) that accompany the melody. Each pipe decorated with ferrules - high ferrules being of ivory and agate, and low ferrules of German silver. Chanter reeds are two pieces of Spanish cane placed side by side with tops worked down to fine edge and bottoms tied with fine hemp, inserted into hemp bound orifice at top of pipe. Drone reeds of cane tube with slit down side and bottoms tied with heavier hemp. Chanter is a conical tube with keys and pierced with eight holes.
Materials ebony; ivory; German silver; leather; wool felt; brass; agate; goatskin
Label/Mark/Inscription Charles (Inscription, Pencil, On one of the reeds)
Associations Hutton, Robert (user) (North America, United States, Delaware, Wilmington, Early 20th C.)
Taylor, Charles (user) (North America, United States)
History of Use Henry Mercer purchased pipes form Robert Hutton, from Delaware, for $124.00. Pipes made by William Taylor at his shop in Philadelphia. Hutton was born in Edinburgh in 1845 and came to America in 1865. He made and played Scotch bagpipes for forty years. He made a few sets of Irish pipes. William Taylor has been called the "Stradivari" of pipe makers. William Taylor and his brother Charles Taylor were born in Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland. Their father was a piper, pipe maker and organ builder by trade. While mastering a trade in pipe making, William Taylor became a competent piper.
Measurements Length: 26.0 in
Width: 29.0 in
From Loïc Joucla: "Bonjour,

This is my new set which was finished... last night! (Oct 14 2008)

It's a C set with 4 drones (4th & 5th) old indian ebony/ivory made by A. FROMENT. (you can notice keys are a little bit wider than usually)

North East Tionól 2008

North East Tionól 2008. It was a great event this year with a line-up of guests to keep any piping enthusiast excited for a good long while. Mick O'Brien, Cormac Cannon, Cillian Vallely, Ivan Goff, Debbie Quigley, Pat D'Arcy (that's be lads) with Benedict Koehler at the reedmaking table and David Quinn on the podium! There was even a glittering appearance from Jimmy O'Brien-Moran, with countless others attending and participating in various and sundry ways. I met up with lots of folks I had "known" on the interwebs... all fit their mental profiles and passed the various tests I lay in secret, some did particularly well (Paul Reid... you know who you are!)

These photos were taken by the esteemed Virgil Colby of Toronto Canada. In them you will witness just how pretty Paul Reid truly is. You will see a gathering of pipers and musicianers playing a (cough, cough) Scottish tune (which was very well arranged it has to be said) called "Geein Heem" translation: "Going Home" I believe. A rare appearance by the Patsy Touhey Experience followed proving that it takes atleast three modern pipers to equal one Patsy Touhey. We are in communications with a fourth member - details yet to be revealed.

These rarities passed the grade (what grade?) - please brace yourselves... it's not pleaseant! From.... you guessed it, Jimmy O'Brien-Moran. Here are Jimmy's commentaries to the photos(priceless!) See if you can connect the comment to the photo:
Mick O'Brien plays "see no evil" with JOBM - but it doesn't work!
Jesus says 'Grace after Meals' at the last supper for the apostles Cillian, Mick and Seth, with Mary Magdalene (AKA. Sally Joyce K., fiddler) keeping a respectable distance.
Piping posture: Advanced Class
Piping Posture: Intermediate Class
Piping Posture: Beginners (tip: fold the arms!)
Fiddler's Green
The Piper Knows?
Smell no Evil? Doesnt work either!
....and one from Miss Molly! Incidenatlly, you can hear an interview with Molly (Miss Hester) on the following radio programme: Ardtráthnóna. From Molly: "I did a bit of chat and piping on Irish radio today on the show "Ardtráthnóna". It was a bit of a dream come true - seeing as I learned my Irish through listening to the host of the show Máirtín Tom talk away streaming online."

There is also some other fantastic photographic evidence from the weekend at these fine locations:
  • Paul Reid's Photo's
  • Naka Ishii's Photo's
  • Jonathan Hohl Kennedy's Photo's
  • There are photos now posted of last weekends Southern California Tionól on the club website www.SoCalPipers.com
    website design: darcycreative.com