02. November 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Links

The Metro has a review of last week’s concert.
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02. November 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

Over at “Twang Twang Twang” Helen Radice shares a great story and asks us

“So c’mon, you serious musicianly aesthete bloggers – how far will you go?”

Read the whole thing and you’ll know what she’s talking about.

I played a concert once that was so embarrassing and so rotten and the audience went wild. I walked to my car in disgust. Or maybe sorrow. Or maybe both. And I overheard an audience member say, “Now that’s a good concert! They ought to play that kind of thing all the time!” I then wrote my poem Services Rendered. (It’s no masterpiece, but I’m oboist, not a poet!)

But of course that’s not quite what Ms. Radice is asking. She’s asking how far we’ll go, personally, and I don’t think she means how far our symphonies might require us to go.

There are embarrassing jobs. There are pathetic jobs. There are bizarre jobs. I’ve heard some mighty fine stories, and I just read this one from Heather of In The Wings. Ouch. People who hire us can be … um … difficult. Extremely so.

I had a friend who was once asked to play for a video promoting a Republican candidate. She was (and is) a strong Democrat. It would have paid well. She was truly torn. Fortunately the whole thing fell through so she never had to make the difficult decision.

But what would I do, I wonder? I’m not sure if I’ve played any tremendously bizarre jobs. Mostly I haven’t been asked. (Aw, shucks!) Oh … but I was asked once to play at a nudist colony. I turned the gig down. Yes, we were going to wear clothes. I heard that the audience would as well, but I still wondered if someone might pop in unclothed and I’m just not sure what might have happened to this normally under control musician. (It’s difficult to play oboe and laugh at the same time.)
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02. November 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Links

You have to see this. Really. :-)

(Link found via Musical Perceptions blog.)
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02. November 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

I just ran across this site that has sound clips from oboists around the world. So far it’s Europe and America, with one clip from Australia … but isn’t this sort of cool? We Americans can be quite snobby about our sound and our “American” (or “long”) scrape reeds and our dark tone. It’s good to get out of our little boxes sometimes and hear other sounds that are acceptable and preferred in some places. I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that said something like “Sometimes the solution isn’t American” and I know it wasn’t talking about oboe reeds, nor do I actually want to change my sound, but we Americans certainly are able to be snooty about our ways, you know?

I have to admit I haven’t listened to the clips yet … shoot … I’m still “coffeeing” and I didn’t bring my headphones. I don’t want to force anyone else to hear the sound clips. They probably prefer the sound of coffee grinding anyway. ;-)
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02. November 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

I’m at “my” Santa Clara coffeeshop and it’s time to relax, enjoy my coffee and scone—I don’t usually eat here, but last week a colleague told me the scones were great and I should try one. I’m not one to disobey! ;-)

So anyway, it’s relaxation time, prior to teaching time, prior to reed panic time (I’m having reed woes … as always) and more teaching.

I’m reading a link sent from an IDRS member; it’s about the lack of freelance work in Pittsburgh, now that the ballet there is using canned music and other groups are struggling. But that’s not what I’m “hah-ing” about. Read this:

Recently, she played the basset horn in Mozart’s Granpastita, a famous chamber music piece

This is just too funny! I nearly laughed out loud … but I’m trying to appear normal and I don’t want to frighten all the other folks here. (Side note: LOTS of Mac users nearby.) So I merely grinned. A lot. (They clearly need a better proofreader; that wasn’t the only typo in the article, although it was probably the most forgivable for non-musicians.)

“Granpastita” sounds sort of like something you’d eat, doesn’t it? I’d like it with a glass of red wine, please. And maybe some garlic bread, although I’ll pay for that later!
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