09 June 2009

Piping at the Celtic Inn

Paul, pipingPaul plays the Uilleann pipes* at a Slate Row gig at the Celtic in late 2007. We're lucky indeed to have musicians of this calibre in Palmerston North. Maybe one day I'll get to sit in on a session with Slate Row and the Watercats (check out Clock); then I can die happy. Or, ideally, not die, still happy.

Photographing in these conditions pushes the camera, lens and photographer hard — flash (strobe) would be distracting to musicians and audience, but the light's extremely dim and musicians are seldom motionless. I opened the lens right up (f4), dialled up the maximum ISO (3200) and called on maximum luck. Shutter speed was one tenth of a second. The colours are the ambient light.

*Update: Apparently the pipes aren't, strictly, Uilleann pipes. Andrew checked with a knowledgeable friend who said, "Sadly they're mis-named. Those are not the Uilleann pipes. They're the Scottish small pipes but he may be playing a hybrid with a Border pipe chanter (can't quite see from the photo) you'd need to check with Paul."
I'll get the last word from Paul when I see him next. (Thanks, Andrew).


Update 2: Paul says "Scottish border pipe chanter with scottish smallpipe drones because i haven't got around to making border pipe drones yet. I have a nicely seasoned bit of Puriri destined for the drones." It's all a bit arcane to me, but I know what I like and the sound of Paul playing is high on the list.
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

10 comments:

Anne-Marie said...

Nice photo - I like the light. I remember that night well.

Zhoen said...

Amazing photo go made, given the circumstances.

I think back to a stagecraft class from long ago, about how on stage, green light is ugly on most people, unless they have black skin. And I've seen green light on more musicians since then, than any other color. And sure enough...

nz-ajb said...

Pete, you coming to the CD release thing on the 21st? Andrew.

stella said...

Very impressive photo, they are difficult conditions!

I imagine it is pretty safe to say that was taken in late Movember ;)

nz-ajb said...

I forwarded the picture to Squint and he says "Sadly they're mis-named. Those are not the Uilleann pipes. They're the Scottish small pipes but he may be playing a hybrid with a Border pipe chanter (can't quite see from the photo) you'd need to check with Paul."

D'oh! :) Andrew.

pohanginapete said...

Anne-Marie, yes, it was a good night, and the photos turned out better than I was expecting.

Zhoen, at gigs like these the choice is between going with whatever colours are there, or converting to monochrome. I'd intended going the monochrome (black-and-white) way, but when I compared the two versions I preferred this.

Andrew, I hadn't heard about the 21st. Will find out more. And thanks to you and Squint for the info about the pipes. It's all beyond me, but I'll update the post and check with Paul when I next see him. Cheers!

Stella — you'd be right! 24 Movember '07, in fact.

Anonymous said...

You caught the essence of the man in this shot. Becky

pohanginapete said...

Becky, thanks, and welcome back to the Celtic ;^) To me this seems so typical of Paul; so caught up in his music.

AJB said...

Paul (along with Duncan and Neil) will be playing at The Celtic tonight (Friday) and Saturday, no doubt there'll be some piping. :)

pohanginapete said...

Excellent! We'll probably be there on Saturday. Thanks Andrew.