THE CHIFF & FIPPLE GREETING
This issue's Chiff & Fipple greeting by Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, until recently Iraq's Minister of Information.
Greetings to readers of the so-called "Chiff & Fipple." Let me say emphatically that while it is said that there are over 3,400 subscribers to this publication, these lies are as foul and noxious as the sputum of a diseased camel. We can state with certainty that there are no more than 9 members total, world-wide. Three of those members are said to be deceased. Of the estimated 6 living members, only two actually play this devil instrument known as the Whistle. The other four are CIA agents and/or agents of British Intelligence like Mr. James Bond of the Western decadent movies. Chiff & Fipple is no threat to us whatsoever and not one whistle player is any closer than 20,000 miles from our region.
Hey. Chiff & Fipple NEEDS a Ministry of Information. This guy needs a job, so.....
I'm Dale Wisely and this is Chiff & Fipple's 6Hole Theory: PostStructural Tinwhistle Journalism for the New Millenium.
April 23, 2003
I. Flook in America
Flook is touring America. I have this list of dates, which may well have been revised since I received it a few weeks ago. Check your local listings. If Flook plays in a place you can get to...get to it!
Thursday April 24
Friday April 25
Diana Wortham Theatre
Saturday April 26
Wednesday April 30
Friday May 2
W. Hartford, CT
Saturday May 3
New York, NY
Friday August 15 - Sunday August 17
Milwaukee Irish Festival
Also, their latest award-winning CD, Rubai, is now distributed in North America.
Order Rubai from amazon.com
II. JOHN ASHCROFT RECOMMENDS THIS DUCT FLUTE
Dave Armstrong emailed this amazing find, which appears on the Boston Museum of Fine Arts webpage (http://www.mfa.org and the more specifically at http://www.mfa.org/artemis/fullrecord.asp?oid=50378&did=600 )
Here's the text from MFA:
Labeled J & H, English, late 19th century?
England, (London), late 19th century
57.2 cm (22 1/2 in.)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection 17.1838
In C. Lowest tone d'. Cylindrical bore. Made of drawn brass tubing. Six finger-holes; the fipple is made of lead.
If you go to the mfa.org site http://www.mfa.org/artemis/fullrecord.asp?oid=50378&did=600 you can zoom in on the image.
Now we all know that Bernard Overton only "sort of" invented the modern Low whistle because we know that similar instruments pop up and have popped up in various world locales for centuries. But, I think it is amazing how much this could pass for a modern Low whistle.
Let me caution all of you WhOA suffers not to call up the people at J&H to order one of these. Because the makers are, presumably, dead and everything.
And, since it has a lead fipple, if you get one....don't play it.
Dave Armstrong and I are, however, planning a major heist at a certain Museum of Fine Arts in the very near future. Here's a picture of me, rehearsing my role in the heist:
III. AND SPEAKING OF DAVID ARMSTRONG
check out his website
Irish Whistle and Music Resources
IV. SOME INFORMATION YOU'LL BE NEEDING SOON
Location: Middle East, bordering Mediterranean, between Lebanon & Turkey. Borders Iraq, among other places.
Area: 185,180 sq km, slightly larger than North Dakota (but with more "evildoers" per sq km).
Climate: mostly desert; hot, dry, sunny summers (June to August) and mild, rainy winters (December to February) along coast; cold weather with snow or sleet periodically in Damascus.
POPULATION: approx 17,000,000.
PERCENTAGE OF POPULATION EXPECTED TO GREET U.S. MILITARY WITH OPEN ARMS: Unknown
V. WHISTLE-RECORDER-NORELCO SHAVER
Perhaps this would be a good time to revisit an oldie. From chiffandfipple.com:
A Chiff & Fipple Retrospective
Bob recently wrote:
After reviewing your…uh...unusual website, I don’t really understand why tinwhistle players don’t take a little extra time and learn to play the recorder. It’s a much more flexible instrument. Let’s face it, the tinwhistle is a watered-down version of the recorder anyway.
Now, Brother Bob here expresses a common if somewhat deranged point of view. For fear of offending those Chiff & Fipple subscribers who play both instruments (“cross-fipplers” as they are known in the trade) I won’t be too partisan in my reply. Instead I thought it might be helpful to readers to provide the definitive comparison of the tinwhistle and the recorder. However, as you all know, here at the Chiff & Fipple Musicology Desk (currently “manned” by interns Gwynneth, Rachel, and another intern named Rachel) we strive to go the extra mile. So, I recently gathered the interns together and gave them my vision of this definitive comparison. “Gwynneth, Rachel, Rachel,” I recall saying, “the easy and obvious comparative analysis would be between
and the recorder
and all our competitors would stop there. But not us. A more interesting comparison would be between
and the recorder
Norelco Triple Rotary Head Electric Shaver ™
So, here we go.
Blow into it?
Has 6 holes
Has, like, more holes
Has trio of floating heads
Used by people with a sense of humor
Comes in cashmere
Removes facial hair
Makes you look slightly seedy
Promoted by a website which also keeps members apprised of the coming of the Crystal People who are coming to feed us Special Foo\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\BRK/////////TABLE DATA FEED INTERRUPT PROTOCOL GAMMA///////BRK///END
 Only when cleaning
 Although I saw a recorder ensemble perform once that could have easily been called “Trio of Floating Heads”
 Model 500 only
 Generation High G only
Now, that was published in Chiff & Fipple a few years ago. This month, I received the following (and this letter will also serve as this issue's
CHIFF & FIPPLE LETTER TO "DAVE" TM
I just came to your site tonight by means of a referral post on one of the recorder e-mail lists and have been enjoying myself immensely. One correction: in your comparison of the whistle, the recorder, and the Norelco shaver, I think the recorder should be shown as tunable - all but the most inexpensive ones (and the smallest ones, which are higher than the G whistle, being an octave above the C) are tunable (no heat required <G>). Oh, and some recorder players do
sometimes have a sense of humor, though I admit that it is not as highly developed as that evidenced by the Chiff and Fipple web site. And I'm sure by surveying most recorder sites you would NOT draw that conclusion.
Even though my excursions into the whistle have been timid and small by comparison my recorder activity, I find I do have a latent case of WhOA, and just surveyed my current miniscule collection in light of your discussion on inexpensive whistles. I seem to be batting .667, as I have a C Perri in orange, a C Generation and a D Susato - though not the tunable version (so far). I agree with you on the Susato in particular.
Your site will serve to rekindle my interest in the whistle and have some fun as I do so. Of course now that my wife has taken up the Celtic harp (under the tutelage of Philip Boulding of Magical Strings) , I have even more incentive......
Auburn, Washington USA
VI. MORE ON THE SEVENTH HOLE
In response to a question in the last issue about why whistles don't usually have a seventh hole, Emily writes:
Why no seventh hole? Why not an eighth hole or ninth? Why not keys or a whole row of whistles with a keyboard and a small boy to jump up and down on a bellows? No, this is a slippery slope indeed! True, we were given opposable thumbs, but to wave them about willy nilly making C natural notes whenever we please, flaunting our thumbs in the faces of the lower animals, is this right? What are Golden Retrievers and Dashchunds to aspire to if we take away the goal of tin whistle playing? Rob McDonough would build his mighty pipe organs on the ashes of a Daschund's dreams.
Now we up here in Seattle are a pretty open minded bunch, why heck, we even had a Republican living here for awhile, but on this matter there can be no compromise! Whistling Billy made it, I play it, that settles it!
I'll always publish emails that include phrases such as, "the ashes of a Daschund's dreams."
VII. MORE SHAMELESS COMMERCE
Chiff & Fipple merchandise at
all kinds of apparel, bumper stickers, bags, backpacks, mugs, lunchboxes, etc., etc.
VIII. INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW
Why is it you rarely write about the Crystal People anymore?
St. Louis, MO
Because, Mary, we've been busy doing research. The CP have established themselves in a variety of covert operations worldwide. Here is an example.
I continue to work as hard as ever to stave off the invasio//////[////BRK[ACTIVATE INTERNETINTRCPT <ALPHA>/////\\\INITIATELINKRESUMEAPRVD TXT///
s ta ve /off the unfair tide of anxiety about the Crystal People, who are simply coming to feed us Special Food. I encourage you all to greet the Crystal People with hugs & flowers.
1. Send blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. If that doesn't work, email me at email@example.com
Lord, help us see how near is your kingdom.