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King’s Cross bagpipes

We’re off to one of the busiest spots on the Underground today – King’s Cross station, a major hub in the city. Playing on one of the platforms is a bagpipe busker, the drone of his instrument blending with the station reverb and the sound of approaching trains.

City version:

The first reimagined version is from Nick St. George, who writes:

“It’s difficult to pinpoint the origin of these pipes – given the somewhat (shall we say) lively acoustic of the London Underground.

“But I’ve taken a punt and assumed that they are of the Scottish variety (the player may well be appealing to already homesick Scots getting off the London train at Kings Cross).

“As a result, and given what was going on politically in the UK when this project was unveiled, I though about doing something about Brexit and a possible second referendum on Scottish independence. But this would probably date every quickly, so I set politics aside and went for a more literary approach (although the way the sounds slip and slide around, it’s possible to interpret this as some sort of search for identity…).

“I found a “rap” of a Burns poem by Celtic Seamus aka Shamoozey (with thanks for granting permission) and wove that in and around the treated field recording.

“Add a few other bits and bobs and it’s turned into something that is probably more Scotland than London reimagined…”

Memory version by Nick St. George:


Next up is Eden Grey, who’s given the station more of a sci-fi treatment:

“My inspiration was imagining Kings Cross station as though it were a science fiction setting.

“Being such a busy station, I was thinking of it in slow motion.

“I time stretched and pitched down some parts of the recording, in so slowing down the bag pipe player. I added recordings of my modular synthesizer to further create the sci-fi theme.”

Memory version by Eden Grey: