10 March was International Bagpipe Day. The Fourth International Bagpipe Conference was a huge success with participants from over a dozen countries gathered to play, share and present their knowledge. Hosted in Mallorca at the Arxiu del Regne de Mallorca, along with an opening concert at the Teatre Xesc Forteza and an outing in the town of Sóller, the conference really achieved its goal of creating a platform for people interested in bagpipes, encouraging links with people from all around the world. The next conference will be taking place in 2020 on the East Coast of the United States.
Following up from the conference, I was invited by the Balearic Islands Government and the Centre Balears Europa in Brussels to introduce two new instruments to the Musical Instruments Museum in Brussels as well as do a short presentation of music from the Balearic Islands to an international audience, punctuated by music from Mallorcan, Menorcana and Ibizan musicians. What a fantastic day it was!
Music is still happening, though, with a concert with Amaraterra at Balabam on Saturday 24 March and a feature during a Baroque Festival in April in Hampstead Heath, playing a Vivaldi Concerto Grosso for the first time in years. Exciting!
As many of you know, I created and have been running the International Bagpipe Organisation since 2012. This year's event will happen in Mallorca and thanks to the hard work of an incredible team of volunteers, it's promising to be one of a kind. If you are planning on attending the three-day event (9-11 March) in Palma, Mallorca, do not delay in getting your ticket!
BUT despite months of planning, we are still a few thousand pounds short so we've decided to launch a crowd funding campaign to help fund this unique event.
Whether you're a bagpipe fan, a drone music lover or just plain curious, it would be wonderful if you considered lending your support to the cause so that we can continue piping on in the future...
Your help will be an immense boost and earn our (and especially my) eternal gratitude!
Here is our campaign...
Bonnendis at Saint Ethelburga's, Amaraterra at Jamboree and a free Improvisation workshop at the university of Lincoln with Valia Calda, a busy month amongst teaching about Bollywood Music, the music of the Arab Uprisings and Indigenous Australian Pop Music!
And coming up soon is Amaraterra's first gig of the year at our favourite Jamboree venue. I hope to see you there to celebrate in our usual wild Southern Italian style...