The bagpipe society has been organising these conferences for the past 6 years.
It was, however, my first opportunity to attend.
Many of the people I have met here I knew of – Some over the internet, others I had met briefly in the past, at a music festival, Expo, or conference. That does happen when one is involved in the field of bagpipes for over 25 years. But there were also wonderful surprises with talented young players or with the veteran, whose work one followed at a distance for years. A wonderful opportunity to reconnect.
The conference was organized by The International Bagpipe Organisation (IBO). This 6th edition marked also the date of the International Bagpipe Day 2022 (10th March) and was a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the International Bagpipe Conference.
For 2022, the IBO joined up with the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society (NPS) and the Newcastle University to host a 3-day event, combining the conference with the 3rd Newcastle Piping Festival.
The conference was held at the beautiful King’s Hall of Newcastle University.
The presentations, both live and via the internet, were of high level, providing insight into the state of the art of the bagpipe research field worldwide.
It was an exciting interdisciplinary opportunity to debate various questions relating to the study of bagpipes and especially to strengthen networks for further work.
Although the conference was scientific in nature, Cassandre Balosso-Bardin and Andy May were the perfect hosts, creating a friendly, and welcoming environment for all.
As is customary with pipers, the event ended with a “music improv” session (a “foliada” or “session”) at the local pub. If you think it was all leisure and no work, you are mistaken – networking continued, scientific discussion, demonstration, and authentic 21st-century folk music in action – a wonderful ethnomusicology/anthropology fieldwork opportunity.
I cannot wait for next year’s conference. I am definitely becoming “a regular” customer.