“…this one sounds like nothing else. It feels simultaneously ancient and modern, profound and direct, led by the peculiar, beautiful sound of the smallpipes.”
Thursday, May 26th, 2022 at 7PM
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Brìghde Chaimbeul plays the Scottish smallpipes, a bellows-powered set of bagpipes with a double-note drone. A native Gaelic speaker from the Isle of Skye, she began learning the pipes as a young girl and at the age of seventeen won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk award. Her 2019 debut album, The Reeling, produced by Lau’s Aidan O’Rourke, won her major media plaudits, five-star reviews, and a BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award, for its fresh reading of traditional Gaelic tunes and outward looking assimilation of influences from Cape Breton, Eastern Europe and Ireland, played with an enticing virtuosic liquidity, emphasising the rich textural drones of the smallpipes.
“A lot of people had never heard the smallpipes before, so the music was totally fresh,” Brìghde says. “It sounds almost contemporary and strange. And I understand where that comes from, in terms of the drone. A lot of the tunes that I had picked had unusual structures and can have a chance-like quality. So I’ve ended up playing at contemporary music festivals. It’s almost like it justifies playing even weirder tunes. So I’m growing and growing my own ideas, and it opens me up to be able to think about going away from what is totally traditional.”