11. July 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

Laundry. House cleaning. Sorting through bills. Relaxation.

… and no oboe for a day.

Well, probably no oboe. I may decide to take both instruments out at some point, just to check the adjustments. I think it’s time to check them again. Having Carl Sawicki’s book The Oboe Revealed, which includes a very clear chapter on adjusting the oboe and English horn, has been a real life saver this summer.

So … Tales From the Pit:

On Saturday afternoon I had major problems with my #1 oboe, and I was able to give thanks for the new (old) instrument I picked up recently, as it got me through the show. I even played the big solo on it, and it did just fine. #2 is a bit brighter than #1, but its response is a bit easier so I don’t worry as much about the first note.

The reason for the major problems with Oboe Numero Uno? Air Conditioning! Yes, I’ve mentioned this before, but it was so incredibly obvious this time and I just feel like whining a bit about it while I can (I guess Mondays are also for whining!). It was hot out, and the air was on a bit too high for my peculiar little oboe. I could feel it going, and knew it would protest too much on the first note of the sewer solo, so I bravely switched oboes during the first half. The intonation of #2 isn’t quite the same as #1, so I still have kinks to work out, but I sure was glad to have it there to rescue me!

For the past few weeks I’ve had #2 sitting on the stand, waiting for its moment in the sun (or in the dark, really). I’m sure it was wanting some attention; I keep #1 on my lap and poor #2 has to sit on the double stand I have. When I’m playing English horn #1 gets to stay on my lap rather than going on to the stand in place of the EH. It’s not all that comfortable to have it there while tooting the EH, but it keeps it a bit warmer. (For those of you who don’t realize this, putting your instruments on stands can cause great problems; the instruments get cold when they sit there, and they are much more prone to both water in the octave keys and cracking, along with intonation questions since they get so darn cold … or at least that’s what I think, for what my thinking is worth!)

But I ramble. Both oboes have been used. Both are doing well (as long as no air conditioning is on for poor #1). Both Saturday night and Sunday matinee oboe #1 was back in the line-up and did great. Having a second instrument is, I’ve decided, an absolute MUST. (My colleagues should now be shaking their heads and saying, “Big DUH” … everyone knows an oboist has to have that second instrument. I’m just sloooow.)

Someday maybe I’ll tell other tales — those about the stage and audience. We’ll see.

When I’m through with this show I really must get #1 to the shop. I think the crack that has been pinned is what is causing the trouble when it gets cold; I suspect it merely needs a bit of TLC … maybe some extra pins or maybe just some super glue. I’m not sure how all that gets taken care of. Guess I’ll find out soon enough.

So … 39/16. Know what I’m talkin’ about? ;-)
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