What do bagpipes and books have in common? The Library’s First Anniversary
If you don’t know, this week is the first anniversary of the new Los Gatos library. The Library is holding a series of happenings over there to celebrate this first year of its existence. The event I’m going to point out specifically is on Friday, February 15 at 3:30 p.m. At that time the Library will be presenting Richard Katz and his bag bagpipes. Richard has been banging his drums and piping his bagpipes for a very long time here in town. While the drums have grown quiet lately, his bagpipes can often be heard in C.B. Hannegan’s patio or at various musical venues and events all around town.
While Richard tells me that nearly every culture has devised some sort of bag bagpipes over the centuries, the bag bagpipes we consider as fairly familiar are called the Scottish Highland bagpipes. When the British Empire was expanding to the four corners of the world, the regiments of British soldiers would take their Scottish bag bagpipes with them, making this mysterious, high pitched, droning music from the land of rocky highlands and cool, stoney pastures widely known.
However, Richard will also be playing the Irish Uilleann bagpipes, which he says are a bit more versatile and complicated. The interesting thing about these bagpipes is that you don’t blow into them, as one would with most wind instruments. These bagpipes are driven by a small bellows placed between the elbow and ribs. These bagpipes can play over several octaves instead of just the one of the Scottish bagpipes. While the Scottish bagpipes are popular the world over, the Irish bagpipes almost became extinct. With the successful world tour of the Irish dance troupe, “Riverdance,” the Irish bagpipes saw a healthy and long lasting resurgence.
Don’t miss Richard’s unique music and his tales of the bagpipes this Friday, at 3:30, upstairs at the year old library. (Richard’s web site is located at http://www.katzwerk.com/)
Richard Katz, with the Scottish Pipes