January 12, 1999 |
Let's be honest: The uilleann pipes hardly seem a rock star kind of instrument. Known mainly as an Irish traditional instrument, the uilleann (pronounced "illen") pipes are a small, lap-sized bagpipe. It's a remarkably expressive instrument, with a tart, vocal tone capable of expressing almost any emotion, from giddy joy to the deepest melancholy. But because its sound is old-fashioned and intimate, it barely seems appropriate for a packed theater, much less a screaming stadium crowd.