Hello, world. My name is Andrew Forbes, holding the title of Pirate Lord Piper. I'm 31, Aries, blue eyes, strong build, brown/grey hair and beard. I enjoy walking in the rain, singing in the park, and dancing in the dark. I am a professional highland piper and instrumentalist from Boulder, Colorado, raised in Nova Scotia Canada. I have been playing pipes for twenty four years.I began training with the Dartmouth Junior Pipe and Drum Band (know known as Dartmouth and District), and ceased competitive piping at 14. Something about the competition mentality was a big turn-off, as it led many decent, respectable pipers to become vain egomaniacs. At 15, I started busking as a way to avoid getting a real job, and for that I will ever be stuck with a cursed blessing. Becoming a professional piper in my teenage years left seeds that would fruition in my 20's, and would at the same make it very difficult to find a real job.
After touring Europe in 2005/2006, traveling across America and Canada, finally making it to Los Angeles, I scored my first recording contract with a film/soundtracking company. It resulted in a solo piping record, and since then, in the last 10 years, I have recorded multiple albums, many hours of unreleased recordings, and worked with established artists from various genres, including Mark Ronson, Ritual, Kate Copeland, Sean McNally, and many more.
When I moved to New York City in 2011, I founded the psychedelic rock ensemble Scottish Octopus, and began playing the border pipes with the traditional Iona Scottish Session in Brooklyn. It took a little while, but I also made my way into the vibrant Irish Session community as well. In 2015, I began touring with the Minneapolis-based theater company Tigerlion Arts in their featured production of Nature, as the primary musician in an outdoor play telling the story of the friendship of R.W. Emerson and H.D. Thoreau and their love of the natural world. I am currently on the 2016 tour on Nature, and afterwards am looking forward to travelling westward and taking residency in California.
Music is magic. There is a vibration in the animism of all life in the universe, the wind of life that drives all beings from birth to death. To unfold the creative mist of the mind is to pronounce it in creativity, and the playing of tunes is the projection of that limitless creative potential into the outer world. We, as humans, have the ability to create the world we live in, and in the creation of music, we have tapped into a magical dimension that allows even the hardest of hearts to break, and surrender to the connective magic that music brings to society. This magic is neither good nor evil, and it can be used to bring fulfillment, wisdom, and peace. It may also be used for nefarious purposes, such as commercialism, consumerism, mass brainwashing, and propaganda. Along with the artistic techniques of advertising, it is one of the most formidable powers in the universe, and can bend the wills of people to those who control its media. It is my mission to awaken people from that illusion, that music may not be the tool of a morally bankrupt world, but strengthen community and represent the best in human dignity.
I play other instruments, notably the guitar, bass, percussion, whistles, flutes, vocals, etc. When I began my musical career at age 7, I had not the slightest idea what music is and didn't have any instrumental preference. The bagpipes were my first instrument, and as it became a primary profession, they became my focus for many years. The bagpipes have a certain sound that cannot be mimicked, and a penetration into the heart that cannot be stopped. It also is tuned to the same frequency as electrical currents, about 58.5 Hz. This is the same tone as the hum of the refrigerator, air conditioning or florescent lights. For this reason, the bagpipes have a very powerful spiritual component, and can transcend boundaries of culture.
If I'm still alive and if the civilized world hasn't gone to pot, I see myself recording, teaching, performing and composing at a similar yet higher level to what I am doing now. In moving to California, I aspire to start new and exciting projects in world music, hip-hop, psychedelic rock and film-scores, and play major festivals and concerts internationally with my trusty band, Scottish Octopus.
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