I was wide awake at 5:00 this morning for no apparent reason (except that the cat had taken most of my spot on the bed), so I got up early. I’ve been in a piobaireachd mood lately, and I found this one this morning. This is from the Gold Medal competition at Winter Storm in 2008: Donald MacPhee playing Clan MacNab’s Salute.
It’s easy to forget why we play the pipes. There’s a lot of maneuvering, manipulation, and politics within pipe bands and in the piping world in general, and it’s easy to get caught up in that and overlook why you got started in the first place, but once in a while something happens to remind you why you play. Today was my reminder.
I was playing in a park this afternoon, and at a break between tunes a man came over to talk. He told me his son had just died, and while walking in the park my playing had been of great comfort to him, and he felt much more at peace during those few minutes than he has over the last few days.
Pipe music has a special hold on some part of those of us who play it. More than any other music I’ve heard or played, it speaks to us individually. It reaches some dark and hidden part of each us, wraps itself around a part of our soul, whispers its alluring and individual secrets, and never lets go.
That’s why I play the pipes.