Moses Hogan: I’m Gonna Sing ’til the Spirit Moves in My Heart
Jeremy Winston Chorale International; George Edwards, Soloist; Dr. Lloyd Mallory, Conductor

A while back a musician (NOT an oboist and please don’t ask who it was!) wrote something on social media that concerned me. The person had a very important upcoming job and wrote about fears and whether they could manage to really do it. It was really negative and worrisome. This person’s job was already announced and tickets were being sold.

Don’t do that.

Don’t do that to the organization.
Don’t do that to the audience (if I saw the post I might hesitate buying a ticket AND if I did go I’d be listening with even more critical ears than usual!).
Don’t do that to yourself.

Yes, we all have fears. Yes, many of us worry about our upcoming jobs. And I’ve been at fault for writing about my fears in the past. But it causes problems. The organization surely doesn’t want to see our worries in print for the public to see. The audience isn’t encourage if they see a post like that either. And it really sets us up for failure.

I used to be negative (not in print, perhaps, but still…) in order to “protect” myself. If I failed, I could say, “See, I knew it!” If I succeeded I could be pleasantly surprised and so could all who heard about my fears.

It’s not healthy, and it’s simply not necessary.

Sure, we might fail. That happens to nearly everyone (if not all) in the performing business. That’s pretty much a given. But we shouldn’t go in with the failure attitude.

And yes, I’m talking to myself here! I need this constant reminder!

Richard Nance: Batter My Heart, Three Personed God
Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West; Richard Nance, Conductor

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Beautiful Savior, arr. F. Melius Christiansen
Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West; Richard Nance, Conductor

William Byrd: Sing Joyfully
Mirandola Ensemble

J.Stainer : God So Loved The world
Gracias Choir; Eunsook Park, Director

Precious Lord, arr. Jeremy Winston
Simone Paulwell, Soloist; Jeremy Winston, Director

I haven’t posted any updates on the ear because, honestly, there’s not been anything much to report. It is what it is, and the hearing won’t return, so I’m learning to deal with it.

Unfortunately the new year brought new notes to it, though. My tinnitus got worse as the ear went bad, but sometime in the past few weeks I’ve been blessed with something new. I’m now hearing notes. I checked and while I only hear one pitch at a time it is all slurred … and it goes between some sort of F# (it’s been flat, it’s been sharp) and a G# (some intonation issues there as well). Microtones are heard … it’s not just a full half step or step. And it just goes on and on. The timbre is sort of a nasal, electronic sort of thing. Very strange.

My “normal” tinnitus is rather like wires that sing. Does anyone else hear that? Sometimes the wires outside the house seem to sing — not sure others have noticed that but I’ve heard them since I was a kid, so it’s not about this crazy ear — but I hear a very high pitches and just goes on and on. I can’t name those pitches (just too high for me, and I can’t quite zero in on them), but I know it’s more than one pitch and they, too, are close together.

So that’s it as far as “news”. Yes, this new issue is frustrating, but one can’t really do much about tinnitus from what I’ve been told, and at this point I’m just continuing to play and teach.

Next week I play English horn on the first and last works on the concert “Automation“, and you can bet I’ll be wearing earplugs: we are doing John Adams’s Short Ride In A Fast Machine and Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra. Both can be quite loud.

I think the program is creative and I do believe it will be a crowd pleaser, but we’ll know for sure when it happens. I just hope we get an audience. Things haven’t been the same since Covid. Sigh.

György Orbán: Missa Quinta, Kyrie
Batavia Madrigal Singers

This just in:

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