Monday, February 18, 2008

The Pakistani pipes - part 2.

I set up the drones, the reeds, the blowpipe and the chanter (apparently I wasn't supposed to know how to set them up without a tutor, but hey).

They didn't work. I didn't even get the bag to be full of air or a minimun pressure. I had a look at the bag; it was made of sheepskin but I noticed an inner layer of plastic inside. How can the skin absorb the moisture through that synthetic layer? It also leaked air through the stitches of the seam. The flapper valve was leaking too, big time. Should I send the whole thing back to the providers? I read the reviews, and there was a lot of "item returned, awaiting for cash back for two months now" etc.

But there was the challenge. I ordered a bottle of Robertson bagpipe seasoning and took the whole bag to the lugagge shop in my neighborhood to have it re-stitched. It costed me £3 to have it done in five minutes. The seasoning costed around £12, including delivery, but it is something any piper needs to have anyway.

I seasoned the bag and I noticed a dramatic change on the amount of air needed to inflate the bag, but I still had a leak on the valve. I substituted it by a provisional valve made with two layers of regular A4 printer paper, covered by two oposite pieces of celotape (I made the valve at the office). The bag and the whole pipes were meant to work, but...

The chanter didn't sound. For some reason the reed was too tough, and then I found out that chanter reeds need to be broken into, sometimes moisturising, pressing, scrapping...

I just liked the reed a couple of times, pressed with my fingers for five minutes, put it back into the chanter and plug it.

IT WORKS!! and it sounds GOOD!!


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