After moving to secure the often hacked areas of the site, I will try to resume my posts. Thank you for your patience.
Those who have played the Great Highland Bagpipe for any amount of time will be familiar with some of the great makers of years past, such as Henderson, Lawrie, Robertson, Glen — the list goes on. Indeed, so great is the respect for those pipes of years past that most modern pipes will point to a particular set as the pattern for the sound they want to produce. A few will take the design and work to make the pipes more steady and easy to keep in tune.
Anderson Bagpipes was formed not out of an aspiration to become a bagpipe maker, but rather to test some theories about the forming and shaping of sound within the Great Highland Bagpipe. The prototype set of pipes made for that purpose also proved itself to be extremely steady in the hands of all players who played them. It made its debut at the Lyon College Piping Camp in 2012 and was well received by the teachers and students there as a great sounding pipe with balanced bass and tenor from the drones. That set of pipes is now being used by an unnamed player in the EUSPBA who placed first in his first time using the pipes in an Open Grade Professional Piobaireachd competition. Since then, another professional player has been playing them and encouraging me to move forward with making the pipes. Perhaps one day, this will be an actual business.
My pipes are not based on any other persons designs. They are the result of a discussion in a piping forum in which I was upbraided most emphatically about my ignorance in how sound is generated and shaped in bagpipes. Being a deductive thinker by trade, I had taken some pains to note the nuances of various makers and studied how each maker derived their unique sound. After reading through some very good books on acoustics, I found that my deductions were very close to the scientific explanations. Dr. John Kidd (of blessed memory) of Kidd Instruments was kind enough to share with me a paper he had written on the sound of the pipes and this also contributed to the design that was beginning to take shape in my mind. I did contact him to note a few mistakes about which he laughed and said they were ‘easter eggs’ to see who really understood what they had written.
So the design of the pipes is intended to produce a highly steady bagpipe with great tone and a slightly smaller volume level that makes for a great solo pipe. There are many fine bagpipe makers in the world and the last thing the world needs is another pipemaker. But through a series of experiments and research, I now have a bagpipe which locks in easily, stays locked, and which has a unique sound – not being based on any particular set or maker of pipe.
I encourage anyone who has the time to listen to a few of the sound clips and to share your thoughts on my pipes.