I'm really looking forward to hearing the competition sound files. Listening to the old files a perceived contrast set me thinking, why do so many highland pipers, when they are playing solo, end their sets with such a lame convention as the completely musically unrelated note progression from top A through E and some odd grips or gracings to low A? I have heard countless brilliant performances that end with no consideration for the ending what so ever just this rubbish convention. To my ears it sounds absolutely awful and very, very lazy.
If a musician has gone to such incredible lengths to master their performance, as many of these people have, surely they can do the composer and the tunes they are playing, often rather brilliantly, some justice by ending the piece with some kind of thought. I can't think of any other musical tradition where this happens.
While I'm at it as well the same tunes are often toped by a load of tuning notes which then more or less lead directly into the tune. Once again I can sympathise to a point, no one wants to hear or play and out of tune bagpipe but these infintesimally small noodlings are for whose benefit really? More often there is next to no discernible difference before or after to the ears of the average Joe, the squarks and spewings meanwhile do little to add to the perception of the pipe as an instrument capable or worthy of virtuosity in its performance or music to anyone not initiated to the "art".
I'm very glad to see that the performances and recordings that are available of bellows piping shows very little evidence of the same
conventions. Perhaps its because bellows pipers are more interested in the music than some highland pipers who are perhaps too much interested in showing their ability recreate intricate fingering patterns and tune their instrument than they are in performing a piece with genuine regard for their audiences' enjoyment.