A jack of all trades living in rural Maine discovers the soul summoning sound of the Scottish small pipes. He orders a pair from Scotland. After a month’s time they break down in Maine’s dry winter climate, so he sets out on the tradition rich journey of making them on his own.
People look at me as a really strange bird.
Yow, that’s hot!
It is a very soul summoning instrument. The first time I heard them I was blown away by the richness and the delicacies of the sounds and I was hooked. I came back. Ordered a set from Scotland. And it came to me and I played them for about a month. And our environment over here is very dry so the reeds shut down.
I was stuck! I had a set of small pipes that wouldn’t play, so that’s when I started looking at them saying “you know maybe I could actually make these things”.
There’s no school for bagpipe making so it’s a labor of love. There’s the tangibility of what I do, the smell of the wood, the chips. All that speaks to me.
I love that feeling that I’m here – breathing, tasting, smelling earth.
It’s also an instrument that summons all my senses, because when you get that bag under your arm and you can feel this instrument that is vibrating under your arm and you’re in this pocket of sound.
I can remember that I was fortunate to march in our Highland pipe band in the parades in the front row. So you’re marching along and you know you’re looking ahead…you know to bring people that joy, to stir somebody’s soul, what more could you ask for?