This year’s collogue was the 30th (see p. 9 for a report of the first) and it must surely have been not only the strangest, but also the best attended; certainly we can never have had attendees spread quite so far cross the world, from Holland to Seattle, Italy and possibly Mexico, though I may have misunderstood that. Judy Barker did a splendid job of welcoming both well-kent faces and new, some of whom had only joined the Society the day before.
LBPS president Gary West then gave a brief introduction, beginning with a memory of Jock Agnew and invited attendees to share memories in the ‘chat box’ during the afternoon. He then welcomed Ian Kinnear with recollections of their time at Uni together. Ian then gave his presentation with as his title the question ‘What makes a good set of pipes? His insights into just how subjective the answers might be were revealing and we hope to have a full transcript of Ian’s talk in the next issue of this journal. The presentation was followed by an extended discussion, particularly on the matter of the effect of bag shape and size, regarding which Julian Goodacre added ‘once you start messing about with bag size you’re going to go ....[long pause] broke’.
LBPS co-convenor Stuart Letford then handed control over to John Purser. Gary West had already remarked “We are delighted to have with us our foremost historian and ethnomusicologist, John Purser. John’s seminal series on BBC radio 3 of the music of Scotland and his book that goes with that was a watershed in our understanding of our musical past”. One of the themes of the day, Gary said, was the Declaration of Arbroath and John had been invited to talk about the music of the period in Scotland. Some excerpts from his presentation are included here, though we sadly can’t print the recordings that he used to illustrate his slides. Hopefully these will be available on the LBPS website.
The AGM was then held and, to the delight of the committee, Bridget Taylor agreed to stand for the office of treasurer and was enthusiastically accepted without a vote; also adopted onto the committee was Adam Sanderson and the rest of the committee were re-elected unopposed. A warm vote of thanks was made to David Hannay for his long term of service as treasurer. David, by the way, was one of at least three people at this collogue who were also present at the first LBPS Collogue in 1991.
The afternoon’s activities were rounded off with a fine set of tunes from Ailis Sutherland; It can’t be an easy gig for a solo piper to perform a set like this with no visible audience, aware that the invisible audience are all keen pipers themselves, but Ailis seemed unaware of any such problems and gave us a lively and accomplished conclusion to this unique event.
The only disappointment of the day was that the intention to show for the first time the video that was made in September, described elsewhere in this issue, of members playing at Arbroath Abbey, was thwarted. That aside, the event was held to have been a great success. Our thanks are due to the committee which set up the event and who made it a welcoming, social and informative occasion. Perhaps such meetings will become a frequent part of the Society’s activities..