We have successfully organised the 2nd Edition of the Bagpipe Network Meeting, at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki.

Thank you for the wonderful support of my research Supervisor Kristiina Ilmonen (prof. Folk Music) and to MuTri Doctoral school Head, Saijaleena Rantanen. Lastly a word of appreciation to the encouraging openness demonstrated by Professor of Music & Technology Jan Schacher to our initiative.

All the conference videos and more, available at:

“Musical instruments are not just like any other “object” in the museum storage. They are like living things, dying away in storage, begging to be played again. At least this is how the musician sees it!
Without producing sound, these objects communicate only part of their story, and sooner or later, silently die away.
– How can we safely bring them back to life again?
– How can we learn from them, extract the most possible data, and hopefully still some music, without damaging them?
– What are the working protocols in place for institutions like the Sibelius Academy and the Finnish museums?
– How may we develop collaborative practices in which we meet the concerns shared by conservators, researchers and musicians, never losing sight of the best interests of the historic objects?
– How do we bring credibility to bagpipe research and fresh air from beyond the regional bubbles of expertise and established thinking?”

This year’s meeting will focus on forgotten woodwinds in museums and will host live at the Musiikkitalo the speakers Zexuan Qiao (China), Barnaby Brown (Scotland), Simon Waters (Northern Ireland), Ulrich Morgenstern (Austria), and Aki Arponen (Finland)
For the first time, the meeting encourages a conversation around bagpipes also between the Sibelius Academy Folk Music and Music Technology Departments, and similar international departments, professors and Doctoral Candidates, coming from the Queen’s University of Belfast (Sonic Arts Research Center), The University of Music and Performing Arts of Vienna, and Cambridge University.

MORNING PRESENTATIONS Black Box – Musiikkitalo

10:00am GMT +02:00 (Helsinki time)

“Opening” Welcoming words by Sibelius Academy, Folk Music Department Prof. Kristiina Ilmonen 

~ 10:00am GMT +02:00 (Helsinki time)

“3D Printing – Revelations from the past, insight into the future” 3D printers have been widely available to the commercial market for over a decade now. This technology has resulted in many innovative music projects over the years. How can we use 3D printing for musical instrument making? This presentation will reveal those 3D-printed instruments, and demonstrate that the technology not only allows us to make new instruments but may also throw light on those from the past.[…]  by Zexuan Qiao (China | UK)

~ 10:30am GMT +02:00 (Helsinki time)

“Problems measuring Hellenic auloi and the Iain Dall chanter” The worlds of historical instrument making are human: a creative chaos characterised by inconsistency and cultural bias. Practice and intention are normally out of alignment. Uplifting knowledge and practical skills are either locked in silos or long dead. What are the key problems dragging down standards? From the perspectives of customer, maker, researcher, and museum curator, Barnaby Brown reflects on 25 years of practical experience breathing life into reconstructions of elite double-reed pipes: the instruments that led worship, accompanied drama, and buried warrior kings. […]  by Barnaby Brown (Scotland | UK)

~ 11:00am GMT +02:00 (Helsinki time)

“Russian reedpipes in museums, in organology and public discourses” Until two decades ago, reed aerophones were nearly absent in the Russian revival scene – due to the loss of ergological skills and, sometimes, to a lower emblematical value as national instruments. Nowadays, non-academic revivalists have gained much more knowledge about these, and many other types of traditional musical instruments, than ethno-organologists. […] by Ulrich Morgenstern (Germany | Austria)

~ 11:30am GMT +02:00 (Helsinki time)

“Entanglements with instruments: Musical Instruments and Museums” Musical instruments are dynamic systems – not static ‘conservable’ objects, but items in a constant state of change, seasoning, adjustment and decay. They are also crucial indices of human activity – narratives of use and value – which can frequently only be appreciated through being actively engaged with. Without such intimate engagement, knowledge is lost. Often the real experts in ‘conservation’ are not conservators, but those ‘private collectors’ who engage in active dialogue with their instruments – players. […]  by Simon Waters (UK | Northern Ireland)

AFTERNOON ACTIVITIES Camerata – Musiikkitalo

~ 14:00 GMT +02:00 (Helsinki time)

CALL TO ACTION ON NEW PROJECTS A wiki for all things bagpipe and other projects
Zexuan Qiao | Gonçalo Cruz

~ 14:30 GMT +02:00 (Helsinki time)

ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION Forgotten Woodwinds in Museums: Can we do better?
Zexuan Qiao | Barnaby Brown | Simon Waters | Ulrich Morgenstern | Aki Arponen
Host: Gonçalo Cruz

~ 16:30 GMT +02:00 (Helsinki time)

An Assortment of pipes – Play us a tune, will you?
Open stage to speakers and audience