Anti-Social Distancing in Monmouth (or Pachalbel’s Corona)

I was very wary about posting this little video as, musically, its not me at my best, by far. It was multi-tracked mostly with single takes, short of time, more or less sight read, and not in the best of rooms or with good recording kit. However, the video seems to have cheered a few people up which was its prime intention.

Why do it?

Simply trying to make something positive out of the lock-down in April 2020, or at least a bit “cheery”. I really like where I live. I moved here in 2000 but frankly it could have been anywhere in Europe (those were the days). The area is so pleasant; everything is in walking distance of the town centre. I hope you enjoy the sentiment of ‘fun’ and a glimpse at our gorgeous town – from social media reaction it seems to have worked a bit.

I’ve always had the philosophy that if a few people simply get on and do artistic stuff then society starts benefiting; I guess this is a manifestation of this. It didn’t take a lot of effort – it simply took some effort. What else could I have done? watch the TV? nothing? “chilled out”?

The pipes, the pipes

Apart from never having changed my clothes so many times in such a short time (it was like doing a gig with the lovely Patti Flynn) I got to blow some dust out of (nearly) all my pipes. For the recording I used my gorgeous Gaita Gallega in C, built by Afonso Castro.

Gaita Gallega
Gaita Gallega at the Courtyard Studio, Hereford

For the video I used three Gaita Gallegas from Galicia; the one above with bass and tenor drones, and two with just bass drones. I also got to use my two Bulgarian Gaida Dzhuras (note: don’t suck; the goat hair is on the inside of the bag) and my Bulgarian Kaba Gaida; all three given to me by the wonderful Paul Dunmall. The video also features two sets of Great Highland pipes, a Welsh Pibgorn which I made myself, and, of course in these times of PPE, a pipe made from a surgical glove.

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