For your consideration: Lament for Finlay (PS 024).
Here are the notes from the judges (as published in Piping Press, a Rab Wallace site):
Outstanding amongst this list was David Hester who had come from the USA to play a tune he learned directly from the Campbell Canntaireachd – Finlays’ Lament. This was a powerful bit of playing in the style (if one is allowed to use the word) of a previous winner of this contest, Barnaby Brown. Unfortunately he got a bit lost in the crunluath-a-mach and the judges felt that the later variations lacked phrasing.
Can you find where I “got a bit lost in the crunluath-a-mach”?
What I would do differently?
- Stick to warm up and tuning routines. I stuck with them up to the point of the final tuning room, which room surprised me because there were a lot of people in there, including competitors! It was a nice, but unexpected group of people milling about;
- Continue focusing on blowing. I’ve decided that the major difference between grades isn’t just the obvious things like finger technique, but the extremely subtle (and yet very difficult) art of steadiness of blowing;
- Relax the crunluath and a mach movements a bit more; what I would not do is rephrase that cycle – I like the steadiness of the swing (though, there is always more musicality to explore, isn’t there?);
- Find more venues, both competition and recital, for performance opportunities!
Questions? Comments? Feel free to post them. I welcome your feedback!