Miles Meets Sam
An internship from October 2020
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Since I started making drone bags for my latex instrument, the Drumpet, Sam has been introducing me to some of the less horrific bag pipe music in this world. My previous experience of bag pipe music has been of bellends at weddings, buskers in Edinburgh and bohemians in Athens. I rather liked my Greek experience of them though. The instrument had one drone pipe and a chancer and was played long form at a psychdellic jam session. Overall, the sounds of the evening were heavily percussive, shall we say, with most people bringing little drums, shakers and didgeridoos. I brought a samba triangle and an Apito, rather misinterpreting the mood of the evening too. Anyway...

Sam first played this, which is structured in a sort of Raga way: restricted improvisation around a scale. I still find it too squeaky and put a leather welding apron over the speaker which helped cut out some of the pain. As it went on, I started to get into it, the form being a little familiar to me because of all my many hours listening to the Necks in all their contained long form improvisations.

Less like the Raga approach, the second bagpipe tip was Julia Wolfe whose music I quite quickly declared love for. It is a very powerful composition when the multiple players glide from one tone to the next, beating and chorusing all the way. I read in the YouTube comments an anecdote from a person who experienced the piece in performance in a large marble place with the nine players scattered at different levels. That must have been quite something!
I found a little kinship with Ellen Arkbro in the sound, from our first Music

If you're in the zone for listening to deterministic music, I must point to Ruth Crawford Seeger and her Music For Small Orchestra (1926). I'm currently reading and considering Cage's book - Silence: Lectures and Writings - so I carry somewhere some of his cynicism for this piece, but truly, I am a man of imagination and this music is very special. At once cinematic, it seems to me to encompass more than sound and I experience it more as an act in a life in a world in a brain.