Graciousness in the World of Bagpiping

By pure happenstance, I stumbled upon one of several SSP’ers I’ve had the good fortune to “meet”online — his name is Patrick McLauren, and his URL is  Patrick McLauren’s Piping Blog.

He is so gracious and generous; in that he freely offers newbie SSp’ers like mesell tunes (.MP3s) and the .PDF music settings for some of his latest endeavours.  Like Gray West, Julian Goodacre, Nate Banton, Will Woodson and others, Patrick has a huge passion for the pipes — and for conveying his passion to others.

Patrick’s enthusiasm is somehow strangely infectious.  He has helped me — a lone piper from a very small, remote hamlet in Aotearoa (New Zealand) — to stay connected with others of similar ilk.  Residing in such remote locales can be a rather isolating experience… but Patrick’s tunes serve to ease this feeling, through his superb efforts and dedication ot the art of piping.

I’d like to post a heartfelt tribute — one that pays hommage to Patrick, the piper — a talented, incredibly gifted musician and kind soul who brings much joy to the lives of far distant kinsmen.  We salute you!!

Here’s another post I found on Tumblr that says what I couldn’t possibly say:

This is a heartfelt note of thanks from a Canadian of Scottish decent, thanking you for your beautiful bagpipe music which was a great comfort to me recently. At the time I couldn’t see where the music was coming from so later I asked at the cemetery office and was given your name.

…when I came back for the internment, I was alone. It was a sad occasion without any associated ceremony or service and without other members of the family along as witness or support. As I was sitting on the steps by the columbarium after the internment wishing for some better way to have marked this final event of her life, I heard beautiful bagpipe music nearby…it seemed as if it was a tribute to my sister as a member of the Ronald clan, a sect of the MacDonnell clan of Keppoch.

I am glad to know that the art is alive and well in Portland through people such as you…thank you for your dedication on behalf of veterans and their loved ones.

Phyllis T.

Randomly enough I’m also a half Canadian of Scottish and Irish decent, so the note hit a little close to home.  As someone who has witnessed many funerals over the years, I actually see the situation of the one-person-funeral fairly often. A few times I’ve even played for zero-person-funerals, where it’s just me and the funeral director paying our respects with no one else physically there to hear it. I think it shows great stoicism and commitment to be that sole family member present at the funeral, and good on Phyllis for being there.

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