Éric McLewis - The Session Pipe
The Session Pipe keeps the characteristic tone of a Scottish bagpipe - due to its natural chanter reed, with a reduced loudness.
Tuned in A, it can be easily played with guitar, whistle or fiddle within folk bands and during the famous Celtic music sessions.
The Session Pipe is made by Nigel Richard, Scottish instrument maker near Edinburgh.
It is a Scottish bagpipe like the Border Pipe but this time the bag will only be inflated by mouth (mouthblown) instead of bellows.
The loudness, the sound itself and a chromatic chanter (*) are actually close to those of the Border Pipe.
The general look and the position of the drones (one bass and two tenors) on the shoulder remind us of the Great Highland Bagpipe.
The Session Pipe is a good way for musicians - particularly those who play Highland bagpipe - who wish to play an instrument close to the Border Pipe without learning the bellows technique; it can also be a way to practice bagpipe fingering with the real sensation of the great bagpipe but without the heavy loudness associated.
The bagpipe is tuned in A (chanter and drones) but B flat can be requested too.
Woods are mopane and boxwood (see pics bellow) or blackwood.
(*) the « chanter » is the bagpipe melodic pipe; a chromatic chanter is able to play all the tones and semitones of the instrument scale.