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GA series “A different perspective”: A fisherman goes well with boatmen

GA series “A different perspective” : A fisherman goes well with boatmen

Bagpipe player Martin Fischer has been playing in the parades of the Beuel Skippers’ Association since 2012. Because of his authentic music, his performance has become indispensable.

Since its 150th anniversary celebration in 2012, the Beuel Skippers’ Association has had a new distinctive feature, the bagpipe, or rather, the playing of the bagpipes by Martin Fischer. Whether at the spring launch on the banks of the Rhine, at the Promenade Festival in summer, at the Pützchens Markt parade or at the Weiberfastnacht carnival procession, Martin Fischer has always played his bagpipe melodies since the anniversary year, to the delight of his audiences.

"2012 was the beginning of a wonderful friendship and the birth of a distinguishing feature," Claus Werner Müller of the Skippers’ Association still enthuses today. On this this anniversary, Bläck Föss brought the bagpiper Fischer to play the song “Du bes de Stadt” (you are the city) with them. Fischer said, “I started playing the bagpipes once when I was in high spirits”. He studied electrical engineering and is now a department head at a company that deals with logistics and technical documentation. Until he played the bagpipes, he played the saxophone and clarinet. “I'd love to play something different,” he said to his flatmates at the time, and they jokingly suggested that he play the bagpipes, which he immediately bought on mail order.

“To the delight of my neighbours, I tried to get the first sounds out of it,” he says today about his early attempts time and smiles, “because I did everything wrong that a beginner could do wrong.” The only thing he did right then was to buy his first kilt on a visit to Edinburgh. When Fischer had listened to a real bagpipe player, he wondered whether he shouldn't learn the instrument properly after all. “Fortunately, I acquired it from an Irishman.” He took lessons and played in a pipe band. The aim was to perform in Edinburgh with the 100-piece band, consisting of pipes and drums. “It didn't work out with Scotland back in 2010. But we played on the Red Square in Moscow”, he recounts. “That was quite a special league.” You have to learn to play the bagpipes for over ten years before you can play in a pipe band like that.

Fischer counters the objection that this music always sounds the same, with two arguments: “On the one hand, you can normally only play nine notes, and on the other hand, the same songs are almost always played”. These are Scotland the Brave, Amazing Grave or Highlands Cathedral, which are bagpipe hits, as it were. Fischer, who is still a hobby player, now produces 13 notes from his instrument. He can also play rock, pop and hits. Technology has also found its way into bagpipes, as there are electronic bagpipes that can be connected to amplifiers. There are also practice flutes, called “chanters”, which Fischer always has with him so that he doesn't get out of practice on the road.

Longstanding connection with Bläck Fööss

In 2010, he performed with colleagues in Engelskirchen and they were more or less by chance allowed to play with the Bläck Fööss in the piece “Du bes de Stadt”. This led to a connection that has lasted until today and Bläck Fööss still ask the bagpiper to play at all bigger events. “Playing with the Fööss in the Lanxess-Arena is an absolute highlight, an atmosphere that gives me goosebumps”, Fischer enthuses. In the meantime, he has also made a few suggestions to Bläck Fööss, so that when they are there, they don't just play one song together.

In recent years, Martin Fischer has performed with Bläck Fööss, Brings, den Klüngelköpp, Björn Heuser and several orchestras, bands and choirs. This is how he came to perform together with Bläck Fööss at the anniversary of the Skippers’ Association and landed with the Beuel association. "A fisherman fits in well with the boatmen's club," he says with a smile. Besides, Beuel is the most beautiful part of Bonn for him: "If something were available, I would love to live in the sunny side of Bonn.

Martin Fischer was born in 1966 and lives in Troisdorf. You can book him through Eventzone. Over 100 video clips of him can be seen on YouTube under the stage name Fridolin Feinbein.

(Original text; Rainer Schmidt, translation John Chandler)