Chris Ruffoni: For Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum
Blue Sky Idea
“An experimental online collaborative project resulting in several short pieces of electronic music, sampling homemade recordings from diverse bagpipe players living in Britain, representing the wonderful multiculturalism of the nation.
Performers would record themselves at home on whatever equipment they have – their phones or more sophisticated audio devices if possible. I would set parameters for this, depending on how the performer likes to perform, it might be improvised or written using new or pre-existing pieces.
I would use my expertise in audio editing and processing to create music that portrayed the beautifully rich and varied timbre of different bagpipes whilst augmenting their sounds to form a new palette. There are likely to be some issues around intonation, tuning and keys available, but they all these issues can be overcome through electronic means.
I would conduct research on the bagpipes, which would include interviews with the performers to learn about their instruments and their connections to them. These interviews will be recorded, and extracts used within the pieces themselves, highlighting the context in which the music is made and allowing listeners to gain knowledge.
It offers the opportunity for the bagpipe community to work together during lockdown. It will expose players to each other and therefore would help diversify the existing piping societies. It will bring awareness of the Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum to an extended audience. Research outcomes/outputs would be presented in my lecture series at the University of Huddersfield.
The example piece, For Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum, was created by working with performers Sarah Tym (Northumberland small pipes) and MohammedReza Beladi (Ney-Anban – Iranian bagpipes), pictured in artwork. All sounds in the piece are sourced from their recordings. Interviews were conducted online and recorded. We have collaborated together in the past for an as yet unreleased album by Toby Martin, I Felt The Valley Lifting.”
– Chris Ruffoni
Chris Ruffoni is a music maker and sound artist based in Huddersfield. His practice includes sculptural installation, performance and composition. The electronic music he produces, which is often created through sampling, is inspired by ethnomusicology and is increasingly collaborative.