Took a walk on the beach at dusk tonight, and discovered something most unexpected at the water's edge: Two guys playing bagpipes. Now bagpipes aren't usually my thing, and I don't hear enough of that kind of music to tell good from bad. But to my untrained ear, these guys seemed pretty good (or at least not terrible).
"So," I asked one of them, "bagpipes at sunset a tradition for you?"
"This week, they are," he said. "Mostly, we're playing because if you're not practicing, you just sound like the worst guy in the band."
Turned out they played in a couple of bagpipe bands at NC State, so I turned and let them get back to it. And it was an incredibly cool sonic effect to hear as I walked away -- a constant backdrop of waves crashing in, with that high-pitched REEEEEeeeeEEEEEEEeee growing progressively fainter. I could hear them long after they were out of sight; and at a certain point, the bagpipes became a faint intermittent pulse. Couldn't tell if I was still hearing it, or just imagining it and filling in the blanks where that sound should have been.
It was the perfect soundtrack for watching the sun turn into a bright orange ball of fire as it dropped below the horizon. Wish you'd been there to hear it.