AN ACCOUNT OF THE INTERNATIONAL PIPE AND TABOR FESTIVAL 2014
HELD IN GLOUCESTER 5th TO 7th SEPTEMBER
This year’s festival was very well attended with 23 taborers and 7 spouses plus our foreign guests. The festival began as usual with our Symposium which we held in the Ed Shed behind the Folk Museum with six entertaining and informative talks. Tony Pearson, suitably attired, started the afternoon by recounting his transformation into a Morris taborer; Gillian Guest had collected a selection of quotes about the pipe and tabor; followed by Bill Tuck who showed that that we should not take illustrations which include instruments at face value. After a break the symposium resumed with talks by three makers. First up was Barry Lloyd who showed us the stages in making his 3-hole pipes. Next was the first of our 2 overseas guests from France to the festival – Jean-Daniel Talma, who not only described how he makes pipes from elder, but to the amazement of all, he made one which played well with only basic hand tools in just over 20 minutes! He was followed by Serge Cladères who makes string drums (Tambourin de Béarn) and also makes the gut strings for them. It was an afternoon of very varied and informative talks.
We adjourned to the Conservative Club for our usual Friday evening gathering with a buffet and musical contributions, which was a very pleasant time.
On Saturday the makers set up their stalls on the ground floor of the Ed Shed (including the very fine pewter pilgrims badges of the Gloucester taborer) while the workshops were held on the first floor. Firstly we worked on the new tune, to be known as The Gloucester Processional, and then Andy Richards, procession master, took us through tunes to be used in the procession later that day.
This year, we found the procession for Gloucester Day had grown enormously. We processed, wearing something red, behind our striking new banner, and leading the Civic Trust representatives by their request as usual. The procession was so long that the leaders had to pause in their north-south crossing of the Cross to let the tail end complete their east-west journey!
Following this we held the AGM and then we adjourned to local hostelries for dinner before meeting in the upstairs room of The Fountain Inn for the Saturday night concert. Everyone had a chance to play a couple of pieces; we heard Jean-Daniel and Serge play their instruments too before the massed taborers had a big dub in all but name!
Sunday morning was more sedate, with workshops. Firstly we again studied The Gloucester Processional which was composed by Alison Rowley (Steve’s niece). It is an easy to play tune which is played straight through, then can be played in parts, and finally as a round. It is a simple idea with great potential. In the second workshop Steve, Andy and Gillian who had all attended Carles Mas’ course at Chalemie this year, illustrated taboring techniques which they are attempting to incorporate into their playing.
Lunch in the courtyard of The Fountain was followed by a session, which the other punters obviously enjoyed too. Members with trains to catch drifted off as they had to, and so yet another very successful IPATF slowly came to an end.