uilleann

Uilleann Pipes

I mainly make my Uilleann pipes in ebony with the drone stock in stained fruit wood. Mounts and fittings are in brass and ivorine or boxwood.

The standard chanter has key blocks carved into the wood and keys can be fitted when the instrument is made or at a later date. The keys give F, high C, Bb and G#.   I’ve designed it to have a bright tone and good tuning on and off the knee.

I make my own reeds which are central to producing good tone and stability. For the chanter I use Spanish and Californian cane tied onto brass staples with brass bridles. Back D and hard D are reliable and the second register is easily held.

The drone stock I hollow out in the original Union Pipe tradition.  The result is a warmer more stable drone sound as the reeds share the internal space and speak partially through the stock wall.  The regulator sockets are permanantly connected to the bag allowing the regs to be played with the drone switch both open and closed.

For the drones I make synthetic reeds which gives them a good buzzy tone. They are well balanced against each other and the chanter and most importantly, are stable. They can be started whilst playing using the drone switch or as the bag is blown up with the switch open. This means they restart after any drop in bag pressure, which is important for beginners.

Student, quarter (practice) and half sets come with bellows. Student set chanters are made from tropical hardwoods and have less decoration and no key blocks.