Posts Tagged ‘Solo Piping


Top Class Solo Piping at The Genfidich 2013 and The World of Twitter

It’s become one of the Ogilvie households fixed dates in the Calendar – The Glenfiddich Invitational Solo Piping Championships at Blair Atholl Castle north of Pitlochry. It’s the event that marks autumn for us and draws a line under the piping season that has entertained us since the spring. The venue, the talented musicians and the warm welcome from host John Wilson never fails to entertain and please.

The past couple of years has seen this established & very traditional event grasp new technology to wondrous effect – the use of live streaming has opened it up to a global audience, all no doubt cheering on their own countrymen as they either eat breakfast in the morning or sip beer in the evening. A true global event.

We time our arrival to carefully miss most of the Pibroch (I’d spell that in the Gaelic but I’ve not got enough vowels on my keyboard). Pibroch is a hard listen for all but the experts IMO. For a moment I thought about capturing a six second Vine video of a Pibroch – which due to the repeat nature of the Pibroch music and the repeat nature of Vine would have been quite funny, but the signs to refrain from recording and picturing taking suggested I should resist the temptation.  So I behaved.

The quite wonderful and genuinely amusing host John Wilson is clearly tickled by the various Tweets that come in from the global audience and he makes great sport in reading out the funiest – and the thing is they are. Whether it’s folk requesting a toilet break or cheering on their favourites – it’s rather fun. But….

You see the thing is… 3g mobile reception at Blair Atholl for the audience is non existent so those watching in the stunning hall can’t easily join in the global chat fest. And then there is the other small point – no pictures please. So a combination of poor mobile broadband and the copyright type restrictions makes a true social event a wee bit tricker than it should be. On the upside – no one holds up their iphone and blocks your view – but on the downside its not a truly social event where the local audience can get involved – no in house Tweet, Vine, FB, Instagram. Wouldn’t it be rather cool if the audience could vote for their favourite piper at an event like this? Wouldn’t Glenfiddich want us all to do some online cheering for the event they so generously support? Just saying.

It’s a great event and wonderfully hosted – but I wonder how the inclusion of the in hall audience could be accommodated.

Iain Spiers won the day overall while Jack Lee was the winner of the March Strathspey and Reel (apparently with borrowed pipes). And here is the irony of trying to control the in hall audience – this is Jack Lee courtesy of YouTube which I presume is there courtesy of someone “reusing” the live stream who wasn’t in the hall: ……the MSR starts at 3min 50sec. And rather good it is.

Congrats to all the competitors for a great day of music (sorry for not being a Pibroch fan).