Redpipes down under

Peter Ferguson is a young Australian piper who started to teach himself the bagpipe in 2011. Peter is in the final semesters of his studies in high school teaching (Geography & Modern History) which took up most of his time for the past 4 years. In 2011 he also started a Death Metal band with a friend in which he is the singer. A first EP is planned to come out next year.

peter ferguson_camelot

Peter Ferguson with his redpipe Camelot

Originally saving his money to buy a Spanish Gaita Peter was inspired through a talk with Päde Kistler (former bagpiper of Eluveitie) to check out the redpipes. After gathering informations about the features of the redpipe he decided to get himself a redpipe Camelot.

 

I decided that as a long-term investment I should get a set. I like the advantages of redpipes over my acoustic instruments. I wanted a versatile instrument which I could adapt to my guest role in different types of music and not be limited by conventional acoustic restrictions“, Peter told us. Besides his solo projects he likes to offer his redpipe services to all kind of different musical projects ranging from traditional Celtic style, to Symphonic Metal Rock or Folk Punk bands.

The redpipes give an edge in many ways, and the rarity of them in Australia also gives me an edge over many others“, Peter says. Meanwhile Peter gets many requests from other projects or bands to join in with his redpipe as many of his musical fellas have learned to appreciate the special possibilities that a redpipe offers such as the ability to change keys and to extend the tone range from one octave to one and a half octave. Freed of the boundaries that acoustic pipes have the electronic redpipe becomes an option even for bands that did not use bagpipes so far.

For Peter himself his redpipe offers a bunch of advantages over his acoustic pipes that he wouldn’t like to miss anymore. It’s not only the fact that he can start to play immediately with a redpipe without warming up and tuning the chanter and the drones or the luxury to practice with earphones whenever he feels like without caring about neighbours that could feel disturbed. It is also crucial for him that playing a redpipe feels like playing an acoustic bagpipe just with the difference that you can reduce the amount of air needed to inflate the bag which allows for more stage presence and moving while performing. Peter also appreciates the possibility to customize the settings of his Camelot setting the chanter to whatever finger system he needs and raising the octave range or changing the key to match the usage with other instruments. Finally he can save all these settings with the integrated preset memory system and activate with just one touch next time he wants the same setting.

And especially in Australia with its extreme weather conditions it turns out as quite valuable that the redpipe does not correspond to climatic issues like acoustic pipes do.

I can just pick it up and jam with my mates by plugging the redpipe into a mixer or amp and it’s also fun to use effect pedals to start shredding on the redpipes“, Peter says.

Peter Ferguson is also member of a Facebook group called ‘Worldwide Metalhead Bagpipers’ which was created by the french bagpiper Pereg Ar Bagol and which connects bagpiping metalheads around the world. „Benefits of being an active member in our worldwide metalhead bagpiper group include being able to talk about metal and any bagpiping topics ranging from tunes to technical mumbo jumbo. The group is comprised of both genders, a vast age range, and spans across many continents around the globe connecting people who are united in the love for metal and the love for the many bagpipe types of the world“, Peter told us and he invites everybody with the same interests to join in.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/WorldWideMetalHeadPipers/

Being asked for his musical idols and influences Peter refers to Sevan Kirder, Chrigel Glanzmann and Päde Kistler as far as bagpiping is concerned. As a singer he favours Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth – Sweden), Lee Tassaker (Lycanthia – Australia), and Lew Smith (Temtris – Australia).

So we look forward to hear Peter with his own band. Wonder what role the redpipe will play.

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