Muir of Ord

This weekend I won’t have much time to write. I’ll be off enjoying a weekend of pipes, drums and good friends.

“There’s an African proverb: “When death finds you, may it find you alive.” Alive means living your own damn life, not the life that your parents wanted, or the life some cultural group or political party wanted, but the life that your own soul wants to live. That’s the way to evaluate whether you are an authentic person or not.” Michael Meade

Droid_01-10-2010 033What feels authentic for me is doing the things that I love. One of those things, which took root around the age of four, was the desire to drum. As a child I quietly obsessed over drumming, doing everything I could to learn by proxy, because in the 1960’s the idea of a girl playing the drums did not sit right with my parents, especially if the girl was me.

Except for my dear Grandpa, I was pretty much discouraged from playing drums until Karen Carpenter came on the scene and my parents had to concede that just maybe it would be okay for me to take up drumming. By this time I had already made a drum kit in the basement using cardboard boxes and my dad’s table saw blades for cymbals. I was ready to be taken seriously.

243Through the years, I have been drumming on and off on a casual basis, jamming with friends, occasionally playing out at parties and public venues.

For the last five years I have been playing side drum in a bag pipe band. It’s a very technically demanding sport and you must be able to endure the kilt, the pipes, marching in long parades and a lot of memorization of scores. We get to play some pretty amazing gigs – college graduations, fairs, memorials, parades and even once played for Billy Ray Cyrus’s television show “Surprise Homecoming.”

So, I am off this weekend to play once again with the Oregon Defense Force Pipe band at the Portland Highland games and then again on Sunday at the Salem Art Fair. Happy weekend everyone!

Here is the band at a recent gig at the Newport Celtic Festival:

…and one more featuring me along with my Pipe Major playing my 2/4 competition score, Muir of Ord:

Below is a photo of us during the recording of “Surprise Homecoming.”


5 thoughts on “Muir of Ord

  1. Deb, this is great. I didn’t have a chance to get back to your last comment on my board. I’m only now stepping back onto WP. T (8 yrs) told me the British played the pipes in the Revolutionary War (uh, who learned something new today?) We enjoyed the videos. What a precious glimpse into your history.


  2. Oh my gosh – so awesome!!!! I had no idea you were a rock star but that does not surprise me. Also, are you noticing the synchronicity that you started this post with a quote containing an African proverb?? I’m pretty sure we were separated at Quantum birth. I also love that Karen Carpenter was your “in” to drumming. Drumming Debra, overturning the patriarchy, one beat at a time!!!! 🙂

    My drum class/circle is focused primarily on the djembe and the Dun-duns…the Dun-Duns are my favorite because you can kind of dance as you play them. I love having an excuse to beat on something with precision and passion on a regular basis – so cathartic! Our intimate circle of 10 or less has been around for 20 years, and it is definitely a highlight of my week – makes every Monday night special.

    I choose quality over quantity any day and I am so happy to have found you on here!!


    1. Wow!!!

      That is pretty amazing Amanda! Michael Meade’s quote I mean!!! Now I know why the quote chose me to put it in that post 🙂

      Your drumming/dancing sounds wonderful. It’s true that drumming and dancing is very cathartic. Of course drumming to the bagpipes might be an exception. 🙂

      Here’s Karen Carpenter and quality of living and our friendship! Slainte!


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