NOTES FROM PIPEY'S CORNER
THINGS ARE HEATING UP
Volume XVIII Number 1 - July 2006
Not much to report this month; went to the Campbell Games, always a nice little venue, except for the heat. Looks like the summer games season will be hot and dry again this year - except for when it's hot and humid! I left Campbell at 12.30 and it was already 90. I'll probably stop by the Dunsmuir House fandango with Jamie Cavan, as it looks like this may be the last year they have it - too bad, it was a good show when I ran it. I will also be dropping down to Monterey next month, just for one day also; at least one of my students will be competing there.
Had a good visit with Matthias Hess of Heidelberg, Germany; he was here for six weeks at Berkeley and got some lessons from me. He may be back in October for more...a promising piping student, member of the Heidelberg & District Pipes and Drums.
NEW PRODUCT DEPARTMENT: In addition to Carolyn Watts' music theory book, a set of Piping Flash Cards, with every note and embellishment, $10.95. Haven't mentioned it previously, but we now have the new Gannaway zip bags with the collars, $229.95, with tie-in kit, seasoning, and pre-treat included; Gannaway moisture system available on special order. We also have the L&M 'SCOTIAN' elkhide bag with a zipper, $189.95; and now, back on the market, ROBERTSON'S ORIGINAL AIR-TITE bag seasoning, $14.95 in the new microwavable plastic tub. This is the ORIGINAL stuff as made by Robertson's years ago, before they sold the recipe to Hardie. Yum, the smell you NEVER forget! BTW sheepskin bags are now available as a special-order only item, sorry, but the expense of stocking them is just more than we can bear at this time.
JUST IN JULY 20: new drone reeds from Ryan Canning, another Rocket clone, but using body material that produces a cane-like sound, $129.95 in stock. More on these reeds next month.
Unfortunately I've had to raise some prices just now, as costs are going WAY up in the custom tailoring department - particularly Montrose, Sherrifmuir, Regulation, and Kenmore doublets. Call or email me for a current price quote on these items, as they are becoming harder to get, especially for quality tailoring.
BLACK PART SPEAKS - a triple dose:
At Pomona, the President of the Southern Branch of the WUSPBA and I had a long discussion. Bull asked that I back off the campaign on the Adjudicator Certification Program. I've considered that, and afterall, I haven't said anything bad about the ACP since Pomona. But I haven't said anything good about it either. Well...here's something good! There will be a seminar and testing given on July 1st in Vista, CA. Contact Campbell Naismith if you're planning on attending or testing. But for proper balance...here's something BAD! Why the +&#@*& have this on 4th of July weekend? ANSWER: (Well....at least one probable answer anyway): So that damn few attend!!! Is that bad enough? If I get any badder, Bull will have another talk with me. ARRRRGH!
Also in our last conversation Bull indicated that I might be considered for the vacant position of Southern Branch Vice-President. I said OK. I've always said OK, except for withholding my opinions and offering criticisms. But I wonder, if I am the new Vice-President if this means I am no longer allowed to speak? NOT!!! 'Ol Black Part'll always speak, V-P or not!!!
And the ReedLife concotion is still working. Since I'm a chemist I'll have to analyize this stuff, tweak it a bit, and apply for a patent!!! Yarr! Genuis!
Just in from the old Pirate June 30, STOP PRESS:
Well, in San Diego last weekend Steve Megarity and I were the only Professional Pipers. Stevie took the first in the MSR, and recieved a very nice compliment on his playing from Harry McNulty, "like hearing Angus Macdonald again!" A very nice compliment indeed. Congartulations Stevie!
Ol' Black Part took the first in the Hornpipe and Jig playing the old standbys, Tam Bain's Lum and the Curlew. Bruce Hitchings judges the HP/Jig, and hea said I played a well phrased and thoughtful medley. I also was able to perform a Piobaireachd for Dugald MacNiel. I gave the Glen's setting to Chisolm's Salute, which I spoiled only with a couple of small chokes, and recieved a nice critique from Dugald.
The weather was very hot and humid. Reeds were hard to manage, as you can imagine. Tone wanted to escalate up the scale. I was very worried after my performances about the Megarity-Ross reed I've been playing. So I dosed it with "Reed-Life" for a second time. Guess what? The reed's tone came back, along with stiffness and volume. "Reed-Life" WORKS!
So tomorrow (July 1) I'll be at the ACP Testing site to take whatever tests I can. (NO! Not drumming!) I'll send in a review. This one will be very interesting I'm sure.
UPDATE JULY 10:
I've just learned that entry forms for the San Francisco Caledonian Club Highland Games are up on the SFCC website. Get your entries in folks; solo and bands. I'll see you all there. I'll be performing Friday afternoon, evening in the professional piping events to be held again at the San Ramon Marriott Hotel. Yep! The Marriott, not the Hilton. Oh well, the room at the Marriott is larger and has better air conditioning for the Pro Piping.
There seems to be some confusion on someone's part in the WUSPBA 'leadership" concerning sanctioning not only the San Francisco Caledonian Club Games, but the Monterey Highland Games as well. For crying out loud! If there's a problem with the paperwork, call the piping and drumming chairpersons and straighten things out. Forms and paperwork change. Some of the persons handling the piping and drumming don't change with the times, but they're all reasonable people. Call them! Lets get on with the contests, and stop 'dilly dallying' about non- essential details. If the person concerned dosen't want to call, then kick it on up to the WUSPA President, Andrew Morrill. I know Andrew WANTS these contests to happen, and he DOES NOT WANT what seems to be happening, happening. All these contest sponsors want is to have contests without these 'hassels", and all the solo and band members want is to go to and enjoy participating at the contests. So quit screwing around, and then I can "SHUT UP AND PLAY!"
Ol' Black Part AKA John ERic Partanen, PhD, V-P WUSPBA Southern Branch - Ahrrgh!
(The management of Cuillinn Craft takes NO responsibility for any editorial statements made by John Eric Partanen PhD. Any and all comments should be directed to BLACK PART)