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Richard L. Patkós


It was around the spring of 2000 when I first came across pipes in a táncház--a traditional Hungarian folk dance event with live music. I was immediately captivated by their beautiful mystique. I was sixteen years old when I began learning to make them, apprenticed to a master pipe maker (and a great musician, too). I started with Central-European instruments, spending the first three years of my piping career with Hungarian, Croatian and other kinds of Balkan pipes. I was able to learn all about the different materials, methods, crafting of the reeds--all indispensable to pipe making.

A major turning point came when I discovered the Uilleann Pipes. These were the most amazing kind of pipes. I had never studied Irish pipe making, but I tried to transport my existing knowledge into a new dimension. As an engineering technician, I didn’t find it hard to proportion the instruments and that was already an excellent start. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to hold in my hands the works of some of the greatest pipe makers in the world--the old masters as well as some up-and-coming young talents. I was able to reproduce a lot of the qualities and tricks I found in these instruments.

My biggest breakthrough in Irish pipe making came when I met Andreas Rogge at a reed making workshop in Germany. A great and really helpful person, he saw my instruments and told me everything I needed to know to develop my product. He especially helped me in learning to make reeds. In my instruments, I would like to commemorate the work of the three makers whose work I look up to the most. My concert pitch pipes are based on Leo Rowsome and the Taylor brothers. My flat pipes are based on Coyne.

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