Rachel's Bagpipes

Repaired by Dylan Martorell

Rachel never heard her father play the bagpipes. Her requests to him as a child were shut down – they were broken, they didn’t work. Despite their prolonged inactivity, the family has kept the bagpipes since her father’s death. They have been stored in a box in the corner of the family home. When learning about Object Therapy Rachel consulted with her siblings. And they all agreed that this would be the way to “deal with the problem”. However they ended up being transformed would be better than them sitting in a box.

Repairer Dylan Martorell loves tracing the hidden histories of musical objects. The combination of drone and pentatonic riffery of bagpipes seems to have more in common with Indian music than anything spawned on the British Isles. Research indicates that bagpipes where brought to Britain via the Roman armies. Bagpipes possibly found their way into the armies of Rome through the influence of the gypsy population of Europe who where originally inhabitants of Northern India. Martorell was born in Scotland and some of his earliest musical memories involve walking behind pipe bands in the local village, a sound that has become an essential part of his musical DNA. For Martorell, the only thing sadder than a purely decorative musical instrument is an instrument packed into a box lying dormant. He has turned this once majestic beast into an imagined object from an alternate musical diaspora where the early Scots have washed up onto the shores of Java.

Design Repairer: Dylan Martorell

Transience, improvisation and collaboration form the basis of Dylan Martorell’s Melbourne music-based art practice. Housed within the conceptual framework of a musical diaspora, his work is drawn to ways in which music travels through space and is affected by changes in geography, climate, culture and materials to become an agent for cross-cultural reciprocation. Focusing on the use of site-specific gleaned materials and incorporating elements of upcycling, DIY culture, robotics, and alternative power sources, Martorell’s recent projects conducted in Thailand, India, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore and Australia have explored concepts of transience, portability and sustainability. Dylan has exhibited his work nationally and internationally.

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Rachel's Bagpipes. Repaired by Dylan Martorell. Photos by Lee Grant. Image copyright Hotel Hotel.