AN ACCOUNT OF THE INTERNATIONAL PIPE AND TABOR FESTIVAL 2013
HELD IN GLOUCESTER 6th TO 8th SEPTEMBER
This year’s festival followed our tried and tested format, and we were pleased to see old friends and meet a good number of new ones. It was good to welcome back Dick Bagwell from San Francisco who had last attended an IPATF in 2002, and Alberto Jambrina from Spain who was here in 2010. We were delighted to welcome other new overseas participants – John Patcai from Canada and Chuck and Lola Wilcox from Colorado.
St Michael’s Tower was the venue for the symposium, organised as in past years by Gwilym Davies. We heard 5 varied presentations. Bill Tuck began by talking about the pipe and tabor in warlike context at the court of Federico de Montefeltro. Alberto then talked about Iberian taborers. After a short break Roger Comley spoke about Charles Bardswell, a taborer who was a contemporary of Cecil Sharp, and he had brought Bardsworth’s instruments to show. Richard Sermon continued with his latest research and thoughts on the non-standard tuning of pipes. Gillian Guest finished by talking about and playing a koauau – a Maori three-holed pipe.
Friday evening was our enjoyable social gathering as more members arrived. We shared a buffet meal and played and talked all evening.
On Saturday and Sunday we were based in the brand new Ed Shed at the back of the Folk Museum. The facilities were excellent and the museum staff were most welcoming. We used the downstairs room for a makers’ market, this year including tee shirts for sale in black and red. The upstairs room we used for playing, starting with a masterclass from Alberto on the taboring rhythms from his part of Spain. This took much concentration but was well received. Andy Richards then held a workshop on tunes for playing in the parade.
In the afternoon we took part in the big Gloucester Day parade through crowded streets. As last year, we all wore something red (some wearing new red tee shirts) and made a grand noise as we processed. The Civic Society again insisted that they must process with us.
The AGM of The Taborers Society was held later that afternoon.
On Saturday evening we held a taborers concert in the upstairs room at the Fountain Inn, with a good number of us playing a couple of pieces each in our individual style. Atsufumi’s squirrel brought along a friend (or offspring?) to entertain us, leaving us all wondering what he will come up with next year!
Sunday workshops were held downstairs in the Ed Shed, though a number of members had already had to leave. John Patcai showed us the possibility of incorporating the lowest register in our playing. Dick Bagwell gave us insights into the American perspective of the pipe and tabor repertoire. Mary-Jo Searle’s workshop explored taboring for morris while Fiz danced so that we could practise. Bill Tuck supplied tall hats and grotesque masks so that we could play for the dead!
A prolonged lunch in the Dick Whittington followed the morning’s work, and as members drifted off to catch trains, another successful IPATF came to an end.