09. April 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

In response to this, where I suggest Really Bad Oboe Reeds as my company name, Drew writes, “Even better: “Really Bad Reeds for the Phat Oboist””

Ah yes! :-)
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09. April 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Links

In case you haven’t visited Dan’s pages recently, you might look at this page. If you like something, you can click on it to see a bigger picture. He has some wonderful work there, including some recent pictures from his Death Valley trip.

Of course he hasn’t a clue how to make an oboe reed.

I just have to mention that.
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Drew, of Adaptistration fame, writes:

I attempted to sell my piano and ended up getting a couple of scam “I’ll buy your piano” emails a day.”

Sigh.

So many scams. So little time to participate myself. (I did used to think about setting up a site selling Really Bad Oboe Reeds. I figured some might think I meant “bad as in good” .. you know … like “wicked as in very cool”? No one could really call that a scam though, right? If you received a bad reed you’d be getting exactly what you ordered.)

But anyway, be warned. Again.

Oh … and I do apologize to any of you who have attempted to join this happy little site, or send me messages, and haven’t been able to do so. Yes, there are problems. Some of you try to sign up as a member and are refused, or so you are told. I’ve found that most of you who have contacted me are still listed as members after that message, and I haven’t a clue what’s up. Then some of you later try to sign in with your password and can’t get in. AARGH! I’m sorry. I can’t fix these things. I’m a TCI (Total Computer Idiot) and I honestly don’t know what to tell you. Dan, the Computer Man (and my husband) says it’s sometimes something to do with a firewall you have set up. Heck, I don’t even know what a firewall is. Really. (Do I have one? I dunno.) I just sit on the couch with my handy iBook on my lap and I type. I know the tiniest bit of HTML. I know how to turn my computer on and off. I know how to back it up (have you done your backup lately?). I know a few other things. But trust me, I can’t deal with computer problems. Sorry!

09. April 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

THIRTY seconds. That’s how long it takes Richard Runnels, Orchestra Victoria’s principal horn player, to recognise a great opera conductor.

Hmmm. And to think we give horn players at least five minutes to prove themselves at auditions. Maybe we could run the auditions at a speedier pace?

This quote is from an article about conductors. Some of the article I agree with. Some I think is a bit odd.

And then there’s this:

Martin believes conductors should be neither seen nor heard. “It just seems silly to go to all this trouble with staging an opera and have somebody standing in front waving their arms around like some mad dervish,” he says. “There are all these conductors who would like to be noticed, but opera should be bigger than anyone in it.”

Um. So is he saying we don’t need conductors for opera? If so, he sort of contradicts himself because earlier he states:

“Apart from a clear beat, it’s a good idea to have cues at pertinent moments like when people are making mistakes,” he says.

I’m confused!

What do I think? I think a conductor is quite important and I think conductors can make faces and I’ll live, but I appreciate it when a conductor holds back for the most part. (I am astounded, though, when a conductor holds back after a huge, and usually stupid, error by one of the performers. But, of course, we all have to be good actors when we are in performance!) I like a conductor that gives some feedback in a positive way; some only deal with the negatives and we wonder if we are okay at anything we do. We need positive feedback. But we also need correction and direction.

A recent experience I had reminded me of how sensitive we all can be about correction. We often take a comment as a harsh criticism when it’s not intended that way at all. I’m especially good at that, as most of my friends know. Heck, someone will say, “Great solo!” and what I hear is, “Whew, you finally played something well after all these years!”

Yeah. It’s an illness. I know. But there you go.
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09. April 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Quotes

I am still very proud of that concert. In America, the (musicians’) connection with the conductor is as with management — it becomes political. You cannot conduct properly in this environment. I hate this enemy situation between management and orchestra members.

and

What is a career, actually? Nobody can destroy my career. Only I can destroy my career, if I am a bad conductor. I’ve gone to lesser known orchestras in Scotland and Sweden, Detroit, but I have enjoyed the places I’ve been, and had success. I like the close community relations, and to solve problems.

-Neeme Järvi

Article here.

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