Johnny Sonnier refers to Cajun music as his blessing. Originals and covers that Sonnier put his

Johnny Sonnier refers to Cajun music as his blessing. Originals and covers that Sonnier put his own stamp on decades ago are some of the most requested on Cajun radio in southwest Louisiana. For 27 years, Sonnier was a dancehall king, often playing seven nights a week. His work put him in the Cajun French Music Association’s Hall of Fame in 2017. Sonnier credits a knack for knowing what Cajun music fans like. “I was blessed with being able to distinguish how to put songs together and what I thought would make hits,” said Sonnier, 59, who lives near Lafayette, Louisiana. “So far, it’s been good. “It’s mostly songs that tell a story or something that I’ve lived. I never thought I would have gone this far when I first started. A lot of it has to do with the musicians I was blessed to play with.” Sonnier had more blessings last August when he swept the Le Cajun Awards, Grammy-style honors that the CFMA issues annually. A Tribute to Aldus Roger & More, an album Sonnier recorded with longtime BeauSoleil accordionist Jimmy Breaux, claimed Best Male Vocalist (Sonnier), Best Accordionist (Breaux), Best Fiddler (Joshua Richard), Band of the Year, Best Traditional CD of the Year and B...

Hackaday Prize Entry: Electro-Magnetic Enabled Bagpipes

Bagpipes are an instrument at least a millennia old, the most popular of which, in modern times, is the Great Highland bagpipe. There are other types of bagpipes, some of which have a bellows rather than requiring the player to manually inflate the bag by breathing into it. The advantage of the bellows is that it delivers dry air to the bag and reed (instead of the moist air from the player’s breath) and this dryness means that the instrument stays in tune better and the reed lasts longer. [TegwynTwmffat] has built his own Irish uilleann pipes, (one of the types that use a bellows) using a carbon steel chanter (the part with the finger holes) and a steel reed. The reed vibrates and a pickup is used to convert this vibration into an electric signal, similar to the way a guitar pickup converts a vibrating string into an electric signal. This means that the signal from [Tegwyn]’s pipes can be sent to an amplifier. It also means that the signal can be processed the same way as the signal from an electric guitar – through distortion, flanger, wah, or delay pedals, for example. [Tegwyn] has put up a drawing of the chanter showing dimensions and locations of the holes and has posted a...