This September's Tannahill Weavers' tour starts in Arizona - which is very hot! Quite a difference in temperature than the more recent climates I’ve been playing them in. How am I going to deal with that? It’s, as always, a bit of trial and error. I have two chanters with me; McCallum Bb and Shepherd Orchestral. A different choice than usual, as I usually bring a Campbell Tuneable Chanter as my spare, but I need to blow in a new reed for the Shepherd which is my Tryst Chanter.
Now, if the gigs are indoors - fine. Last time in AZ I threw bits of my pipes across the stage in a rage - I couldn’t get them near in tune enough as the venue was small, crowded and with no AC and the pipes were sitting about 480Hz! Never ever seen them up there before (should be 466Hz for these gigs).
Something I need to remember is not to underestimate the power of tape. The rules are that the less tape, the better - yeah? Not in this case. There has to be a compromise. I learned this the last time with my reed sitting way up in the chanter to fix it - causing it’s own problems with the top hand. Use tape, especially on the low A to balance the whole chanter lower. This is where a second compromise - this time in blowing comes into play too, and awareness of blowing when it comes to the top hand which, to fix everything else, needs to be sharpened in this case as the High A and High G are flat with no tape on them. It's an unusual situation, upwards of 30 degrees on stage, so all I can do it "ride" the tunes. Be aware of the blowing when it comes to the top hand and lean off a bit. I've usually another melody to play to, so I can figure out the tuning from that. Compromise is the key word.
Having skimmed the tour plan, I don’t see any venues like this last place (lovely venue actually, aside the heat!). So I’ll keep you posted if it happens! Let me know what you think, and what you do in this situation. Also, throwing your pipes across a stage isn’t great for their pitch either it turns out.