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Listen to “Do the Most Interesting Musical Pipes Come from Ireland?”

While Scotland is branded by its famous Highland bagpipes, Ireland has long made a very different kind that plays a much wider range of music. Meet the indefatigable, obsessive masters of Irish uilleann pipes.

View “The Chapel: Inside Ireland’s National Print Museum”

Although the modern design world continues its well-documented love affair with the look and feel of letterpress, the once highly regarded trade of printing press operation has largely faded out as a career path, giving way to the relentless growth of digital printing methods. Ireland’s National Print Museum in Dublin was founded in 1996 by…

Watch “John Butler: Devoted Maker of Ireland’s Uilleann Pipes”

Recognized by UNESCO for their long history and integral role in Irish cultural traditions, Ireland’s uilleann pipes are notoriously difficult to play — and to build. Uilleann pipemaker John Butler (Ceol Pipes) demonstrates in this short video.

Do the Most Interesting Musical Pipes Come from Ireland?

While Scottish culture is branded by its famous Highland bagpipes, its neighbor across the water has long made a very different set of pipes that plays a much wider range of music. Our correspondent visits the indefatigable, obsessive masters of the uilleann pipes.

Story by LARRY GALLAGHER
Photography by RUTH CARDEN

High-Tech Help for a Low-Tech Craft

John Butler obviously appreciates the old-school handcrafting involved in the age-old trade of making Irish uilleann pipes — a style of bagpipes that are substantially more complex than their Scottish cousins — and he’s not shy about turning to high technology when the need arises. As but one example, in an attempt to streamline the…

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