Sochi Bagpipers – City Pipes Band
You read that right. Sochi and bagpipers in the same breath.
I ended up at Wheelchair Curling for the last two weeks of my Sochi experience. Although the rink I skated at as a kid was open to the curling sheets beside it, the only thing that came back to me about the sport was the familiar sound of the curling rocks sliding up the ice.
I didn’t have a clue as to what and how the actual sport event would unfold.
What I have come to know is that: 1. Curling starts with pipers heralding the entry on to the field of play of the teams and 2. Curlers are nice and very sociable.
Imagine my surprise when during our first introduction on day 1 of the Round Robin portion of competition, four well-turned out young men in traditional Scottish kilts hit the Field of Play, two with bagpipes and two with drums playing Scotland the Brave.
It runs out they are from Moscow and call themselves the City Pipes Band and have been playing together for about two years. Band spokesperson Evgeny Lapekin told me that he first saw the bagpipes at a concert as a 20 year old and loved the fact that there was no microphone. “It was just pure sound getting louder and louder which needs no connection to electricity.”
All four men are trained and skilled musicians: Evgeny on the double bass originally from Izhvesk, Udmurtia. Igor Vinogradov on the accordion and from the Moscow district of Fryozino. Nikolay Denisov from Moscow is a drummer and for the Canadians reading this; a HUGE Rush fan. Andrey Miranov is also a drummer and a drum teacher from Karalyov.
Evgeny and Igor were already working together on Scottish music projects when they found the drummers to complete their sound.
They said they chose the Wallace tartan because it is a powerful name and had their outfits sent from Scotland and before you ask – my Russian/their English only goes so far – so – no – I didn’t ask what was under their kilts!
What I do know is that they are passionate about music and their skills were a huge gift to Curling. They are also charming young men who decided to offer a free concert to the ladies who were staying at our hotel the evening of International Women’s day to our absolute delight. Vitaly Komarov, the DJ for Wheelchair Curling put together this montage of video and stills that he took when the guys were playing in our dining room concert.
Just another really cool Sochi Surprise.
For more information about The City Pipes Band visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pipesinthecity, on their website www.citypipes.ru or email them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.