‘The eject mechanism didn’t work, so I had to pull it apart to get the tape out. Eventually I did and was delighted that it turned out to be a recording of a recital featuring Donald MacPherson, from Cork in 1990 so it was definitely worth saving for posterity.
‘There doesn’t appear to be a lot of video of him up on YouTube, so I think this is worth a look and listen or two. He proves the point that you don’t need to play a gut bursting pipe to achieve a quality sound – he doesn’t even break sweat! The tape is about 35 minutes in length – and starts of with some nice marches and finishes with the piobaireachd.
‘Donald was over to give some tuition and I remember him taking a few of us through the Battle of Auldearn and a couple of other tunes that I can’t remember at this distance. A few played at the recital that night, myself, Michael and Kieran Murphy, Noel Harford and some drummers too, namely Johnny Keogh and a young Stephen Creighton.
‘The highlight of the night was Donald though and you could hear a pin drop. Personally, I was in awe of him. We’ll never see his likes again. Somebody local recorded it and they were selling it shortly after probably to raise band funds and that’s how I ended up with a copy.’
‘No need for flashy fingerwork either and I would like to encourage all those who populate so much of the airwaves with this kitchen piping to better spend their time trying to emulate what Donald MacPherson does in this video.
• Were you at the 1990 Cork recital? If so please pass on your memories to PIping Press. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read all about Donald MacPherson and how he achieved him immaculate sound in our unique series of articles on Piping Press here. Hear more of Donald’s playing on the PP Audio Archive.