Wednesday, September 5, 2012


You know those weird unboxing videos that Apple geeks post on youtube (No? You must not be an Apple geek then…), well this is sort of one of those - and about as expensive.

A year ago, when I was in the thick of making Abney & Teal and trying to believe we'd ever finish, I pre-planned a kind of celebration for the never-to-come finishing and ordered two hand-made instruments. Well, one arrived yesterday. A set of Sean Jones' Border Pipes in G.

(A couple of months ago Sean was kind enough to let me make a few parts myself at his workshop, as I've always been interested in instrument making in general and particularly wood-turning. A few little bits are mine, the most obvious being the end of the long sticky-out bit on the right, next to the Ladybird).

These are pipes that look a lot like those in the Morpeth collection in the North of England, but play and sound like those played in Central France. I'll not post any videos of my playing, as it's not up to much yet -particularly while I learn to use bellows. If you want to know what they're capable of sounding like then watch this instead! 

(You see, pipe-playing is cool in France… at least Julien Cartonnet makes it seem that way).

Then today a box the size of a fridge arrived (note that you already can't take a picture in this flat without five instruments being in it, including Toby Dog's original Squeezebox):

What on earth am I going to do with all that foam pasta? Anybody want any foam pasta?

This is a Hurdy Gurdy made by Alexandra Betz in Munich

I'm no better at this than the pipes, but it's a wee bit quieter so here I am looking dishevelled and trying it out:

And trying it out again tuned down low.

There's probably going to be ructions with my better half over who gets to play this beastie, but anyway. Exciting!

If you came here to see drawings and that, here's a picture of a Mole-monster, and an over-cute doggie who has befriended a rat.

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