Friday, February 15, 2008

Muenchen Hexennacht

This was the first time I went to a medieval fair, I mean, a proper one, with people walking around with real swords, real chainmail and well, all real. During my roleplaying adventures most armors were made of molded camping mat, sprayed with acrylic paint and given a dry brush of silver. True craftmanship but from the point of view of "safety for sixteen year old geeks".

One of the things that impressed me the most was the variety of medieval instruments that people play in medieval fairs in Germany. When my girlfriend introduced me to Corvus Corax I just couldn't resist the challenge: I had to learn to play backpipes. THAT was the real thing. I was really impressed by the event but my girlfriend kept uttering the words "Wait until you get to see Kaltenberg".

I adquired a practice chanter, made of rosewood, and a tin whistle in D (generation). With the tin whistle, following a course I found given in parts by a jesuit priest in youtube. He seems to be quite a competent teacher and learning with his lessons is very easy.

When I tried to find the same about bagpipes, I found that most clips were about fingering and grace notes, but not much about learning a melody. Not enough to keep me interested. Instead I started learning some Corvus Corax covers of "Ballade de Mercy", "Saltarello", "Skudrinka", "In Taverna"(from their Carmina Burana album "Cantus Buranus")...

One thing that called my attention was the fingering on the practice chanter. Why people were advising to cover certain holes with the right hand when it wasn't making a difference. I started to suspect that my practice chanter (won in ebay for £5+delivery) was hopelessly out of tune, but since I didn't have any reference to compare it with. Either way, I kept practising with it.

1 comment:

Duncan said...

Como cambian las cosas cuando pasas de Roles en vivo a recreaciones de verdad, eh? ;)
Estoy trabajando yo también en el montaje de gaitas a partir de lo que se puede pillar. Si el chanter no es cónico, te sugiero que uses un reed simple, es decir, como los que usas para los drones.
Échale un ojo a los planos que encontrarás en esta página, puede que te sean útiles:

Salud y drones!

PS: I do hopè you understand Spanish, if you don't let me know and I'm translating it for you