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Bagpipe playing to be part of new permanent exhibit at Peabody Essex Museum: Strathallan Wallpaper Experience

Playing/recording in the new Strathallan Wallpaper space in the PEM's new wing.
Playing/recording in the new Strathallan Wallpaper space in the PEM’s new wing.

Anyone local to the Salem, Mass. area will know full-well that the Peabody Essex Museum has been working on a massive new wing/renovation. By way of my good friend Jeremy Bell, the museum reached out to me about recording my playing of Highland Pipes for one of their new exhibits launching this fall … the Strathallan Wallpaper Experience.


So I got to spend an evening in the space yesterday, getting some tunes recorded that will be part of the sound environment for the new permanent exhibit. Really looking forward to seeing/hearing everything in its final form!

And I must say, the museum folks involved have been amazing to work with. They allowed me ample time to warm and tune up properly in the space, which greatly adds to the quality of sound I’m able to offer. Bagpipes are a finicky instrument—it’s truly a treat to work with folks who care as much as I do about the getting the most from a set of pipes.

They also really care about being as accurate as possible to the time period the exhibit represents (1800s). The pipes have been set up to a far-flatter pitch than today’s modern bagpipes usually play. Also careful attention and collaboration has gone into selecting tunes that are approximately old enough to be appropriate, as well as going for tunes that are lesser-known, and thus non-distracting for visitors.

So that’s right …

  • no Scotland the Brave
  • no Braveheart
  • no Amazing Grace
  • no “Outlander theme” (even though that tune is quite old)
  • and certainly no “Free Bird” =)

A few social media snippets went up today … I’ve embedded a few below. I’ll be posting more as details become available!

Cheers & chunes,
~Nate

Playing/recording in the new Strathallan Wallpaper space in the PEM's new wing.
Playing/recording in the new Strathallan Wallpaper space in the PEM’s new wing.

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Mmmm… pipe music at work

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