I grew up in a musical family in Idaho. My father played the French horn and both brothers played the keyboards. I played tympani in the Boise Symphony from the age of 14 and started playing the highland pipes at age 15. Quality reeds then were hard to find. I began learning to make my own. In 1976 I discovered uilleann pipes were still being played, so I got an old set to restore. I move to California in 1977 to learn reed-making for uilleann pipes from Sean Folsom and have remained here ever since.
In 1978 I began harvesting the soft California cane of which Leo Rowsome was so fond. It produced vastly superior reeds for uilleann pipes to the Spanish and French cane. After Sean’s source was destroyed, we traveled around Northern California seeking the soft quality cane. I discovered an area that I have been harvesting and sending to pipers all over the world for 35 years. There is a lot of harder cane closer to home, but I have been after the musical cane that made California cane famous among uilleann pipers. Others are selling “California cane”, especially in Southern California. That cane is 400 miles from where I harvest and is a different cane than what I get. Some reed makers now refer to Ted’s cane rather than California cane, as I believe it is unique, being softer and more musical than the others. I'm a retired engineer and I believe what Carlos Mejia said in the article In Pursuit of Rare Pipes, "identifying good cane involves art and science".
Joey Abarta and Sean Folsom.
Cane is the soul of the instrument
Designed by www.JeffsComputerServiceCS.com