Some people may be interested in who I – Sam Lawrence – am. I made my first set of pipes about 24 years ago, before I went to university (I have a degree in Music and Recording Technology from Salford), in Peter Hunter’s workshop. I found the lifestyle at Peter’s around that time to be a bit too “interesting” so I worked at other things after graduating, mainly music transcription for Songplayer though I am guilty of a year or so making polyphonic ringtones for a Manchester tech company – sorry.
In around 2004 I found myself living in Bradford, and without pipes (mine had been stolen from Peter’s along with my lovely short-arm tenor banjo) and thought the easiest way to do this was to go back to Peter and make a half set under his guidance. I did this, and he started asking me to help with his orders. The first chanter I helped with was a B for Mark MacNeilly, a lovely stick. Peter essentially only showed me how to make things I hadn’t experience of, so fairly quickly I was making almost all of his pipes, and giving him half the cash, then a third, then a quarter then nowt when I had my own workshop set up.
For the first year at Pete’s I worked out I was on 67p per hour, so I thought he’d had value already!
While he was alive I took everything I finished to Peter’s and he would critique it savagely, which I did thrive on. I basically owe him my pipemaking career, which I never forget.
I still broadly make to his designs, though I redid the regulator designs and still tweak elsewhere when I feel it is needed.
I have also made two Eb flutes and one D whistle, I’m not very prolific in the wet-air world.
I work in Rathmell, in the Yorkshire Dales.
I also play a variety of instruments in a variety of bands (see below), run a recording studio and work occasionally as a live sound engineer.
Bands – Wilful Missing (mandolin, electric guitar and whistle), Rosie Doonan/Ben Murray (bass and whistle), Punky Muzzle (everything but drums), Kevin McSherry (pipes, whistles and everything else but drums) and Gary Stewart’s Graceland – Paul Simon, not Elvis – (accordion, whistles, electric guitar)