It always takes something good to balance out something really bad, so I’m glad that after I went to see Rollerball on Friday (of which I’m not going to speak again in this forum) that I’d also made plans to go see the Masters of Scottish Arts show. Now I do have to say as a disclaimer, that bagpipes don’t annoy me nearly as much as they do others, but I’ve been listening to scottish music since I was younger, and these folks were good (I guess that’s why they call them “masters”).
Anyone who can play the snare drum as 16+ beats per second, playing essentially a drum solo for 4 minutes or so, then be joined by another snare drummer and have their drum beats exactly in time (at this I can only actually guess, because the sound didn’t change – there was no excessive noise addded to the mix), well, they’ve got it goin’ on. the bagpipers were quite good too. A couple of them were exceptionally good. It can be hard to classify good on an instrument that sounds like a bullhorn in the background (and watching them tune these things, I’ve still no idea what they were listening too, since I could hear no audible change in any of the sounds coming out of it – and I’ve got a pretty decent ear for music), but I classified it by listening to what the player made the bagpipe do, and compared it to every other bagpipe I’ve heard. After all, isn’t that what being good is? You just get to push the envelope further and hope it catches on.
And of course the show ended with duelling bagpipes. No joke. It was hysterical.