I was watching South Park last night. (lately, South Park functions as my bedtime story.) In the episode I was watching, the boys try to prevent Ike (Kyle’s little brother) from being circumcised. At one point, owing to a misunderstanding, the family gathers for Ike’s funeral, believing him to be dead (he’s actually in Nebraska). Imagine my surprise, when a piper shows up, playing Hava Nagila.
A little research revealed that the piping for this scene was supplied by Eric Rigler, “the most recorded bagpiper of all time”. Turns out Eric is the piper you hear in the movies Braveheart, Titanic and a number of other well-known soundtracks. Based on what I have read about Eric, it seems that he has made himself the go-to piper in Hollywood circles. He started out on the Great Highland Bagpipes, but now plays a bunch of other pipes and also the penny whistle. He also has a celtic fusion band called Bad Haggis, which is very successful. To quote the “All About Mormons” episode of South Park, “smart smart smart smart smart”.
This segues somewhat obliquely to me pointing out that my own band contains pipers to the stars – Mormon stars, that is. My Pipe Major and his brother feature on the soundtrack to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints-produced movie Joseph Smith:Prophet of the Restoration. Well, it’s a start.