Sunday, February 20, 2011

Angus and Sterling

I showed up at practice late on Wednesday. It was a logistical escapade, multiplied by weather, divided by time available. It equaled disaster.

I actually don't remember what the original cause of the delay was, but it was snowing enough to indicate that the techies in charge of "snowing" on our play didn't quite have the technique down and were using up all the snow in the first 2 minutes of the scene. Then there was an explosion on a transformer in our neighborhood and the power went out. I phoned ahead to Erin to advise of my delay, then drove like a bat out of a snowstorm.

I arrived about 20 minutes late, threw my pipes together and . . . suddenly whatever I blew into the bag came right back out at me. Wah!!!! They weren't doing this Tuesday when I practiced! I searched in the bag and in the case and everywhere I could think of for the missing valve that would prevent the air from coming back out.
Checked with the Quartermaster, Dennis, to see if he could correct the problem, or just happened to have a spare valve lying around . . .

No dice. No valve.

So I sat there and played along on my practice chanter and talked to Aaron.
After practice I checked in with Dennis about getting a replacement valve from the Celtic Center the next day. He suggested I use one of the band sets of pipes that were just laying around, collecting dust. Sterling silver. Hmmm?

Well, when it came right down to it, the replacement valves he had wouldn't fit in my blowpipe, and there wasn't another blowpipe that would fit, either. So I accepted the sterling silver pipes.

They are very pretty. Sterling silver, as advertised. SLS engraved on the ferrules amidst the celtic knotwork. Brand new Ross bag. I swapped out my drone reeds and chanter reed . . . and drone valves ( I'm not supposed to have those because supposedly they make you sound terrible, but nobody has said anything so I just keep forgetting to say anything to anybody) and struck up. Very nice.

I am putting in more practice so I don't have early strike-ins at the beginning of tunes or trailing drones at the end. Hopefully I won't disgrace myself on Wednesday.

Since these silver pipes aren't actually MINE and I won't be keeping them, I have only given them a first name: Sterling.
Angus is grateful for the break, I can tell.
Meantime, I'll be ordering a new blowpipe for Angus ASAP.

No comments: