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.
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…
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.
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
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…