06. June 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Links

The judges were impressed by his singing of the ditty, The Wee Cooper of Fife. “It has lots of fast words and while I did my usual wee jig, which accompanies the piece, I fell over a seat on the stage, and ended up in the first row of the audience. I didn’t miss a note though – I was a true professional.”

Read the article. Must be one fine singer!
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06. June 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

Landed here on a google search:

  • free trips to learn to play the oboe (I haven’t a clue what that means!)
  • clubbing news (Because we oboists are big on clubbing.)
  • Where are lists of double reed supplies
  • (Well, if you are looking for suppliers that’s here and if you are looking for a list of supplies I have a somewhat minimal list here.)

  • stuck swab (Sigh. Yes, that happens. I suppose I should take a picture of my swab remover device. It’s a handy tool to own!)
  • recorder instructors Brooklyn (Sorry. Can’t help there.)
  • salary professional orchestra (Depends upon the orchestra. The biggies make a living. The rest don’t. It’s still a great gig and life!)
  • getting a crown numb tongue (Didn’t get one from a crown, but I did have one for four months due to a shot coming too close to a nerve. Scary stuff.)
  • does Spike Lee have a website (Heck if I know!)
  • Now the majority of folks landing here are doing searches on names of double reed players, or searches for quotes. They land here because of my pages on double reed musicians and my list of quotes. Go figure.
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    06. June 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

    Yesterday evening I joined the Lincoln High School Chamber Choir to play and record a work for oboe and choir. I love playing the work. I hate recording. And I don’t care what group I’m recording with, I still get nervous! Recording is one of those things that drives me nuts. Suddenly every little thing is more difficult. Going quickly between the top line F and a minor third below D is miserable because of the octave key and half hole movement. I hear all my little inconsistencies. And I get annoyed.

    To add to that, we had to turn off all the lights and air conditioning in the Studio: (a church with pretty nice acoustics). Easy enough for the singers; they memorized their music and they have good enough eyes to see the conductor. Me? I’m an instrumentalist, darn it! I need my music! And I’m old, too, so I need my music glasses to read the music, but the conductor was miles away so I could barely see him. Someone managed to hook up a piano light, but it was behind me so my body blocked some of that light, and the bottom line of music wasn’t in the light at all.

    So I’ll be curious to hear if the director manages to get a recording at all. Having only done recordings in real studios, I know the magic of studio work; they can snip little bits out and put better bits from another take in. A little reverb does wonders. And we all usually have our own microphones so they can raise some levels and balance things wonderfully. (I think particularly of http://www.stilesanddrewe.co.uk/the_three_musketeers/index.htm">The Three Musketeers; I think George Stiles did a great job with putting that recording together. And … well … I’m actually happy with my playing, which is rarely the case.) This recording? I suspect it’ll be a one take baby and that’s that. So while I still say I’ll be curious to hear it I’m not sure if I’ll have the nerve to listen!

    It might surprise some of you to know that I get nervous when I’m playing for a high school group. But I get nervous for all sorts of things! I get nervous playing at church (although I’ve not done that for years) and most everyone there doesn’t really hear what I’m doing at all. (Listening is, I think, an art that is being lost. Listening is not easy. Listening takes concentration. Most folks won’t bother.) It’s not that the people I’m playing for make me nervous. It’s that I make me nervous. I don’t care as much about what others think, aside from my colleagues. I care about doing my very best and doing my very best isn’t always easy. Some would think I could relax my standards when playing for church or a school but to me that’s very wrong. It leads one down the “close enough” road and that’s not a road I want to take. When I hear a fellow musician say, “Oh well. Those people don’t know anything anyway,” I’m bugged. Whether or not the audience can hear the problems isn’t the point. At least not to me.
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    How forgetful of me! I neglected to mention that I attended the final performance of the UCSC music department’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by Benjamin Britten. Now I’ll admit I’m not a great Britten fan; much of his music just leaves me cold. So I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy the opera, but it was my student’s, Sara Hancock, last performance, I’ve enjoyed past productions the school has put on, and I love the Shakespeare play. All good reasons to go.

    Well … it was wonderful! The staging, by Brian Staufenbiel, was quite imaginative and worked well. The singers did an excellent job. Really excellent. Both their singing and their acting was impressive. The orchestra, conducted by Nicole Paiement, sounded great, and of COURSE Sara was super! I was so glad I went.

    And, to top it off, I actually enjoyed Britten’s music. Go figure! I want to hear it again, to see if it was just the combination of staging, good playing and singing, and my loving this school, or if the work really is better than I expected. Guess I’ll have to get some dollars together and buy a copy eventually … but that’ll have to wait, considering my income this summer. (Still no new work. Sigh.)

    Next year we are doing The Magic Flute … I’m looking forward to it already!

    06. June 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Quotes

    It’s so medieval. You have these arcane machines … and you cut yourself a lot. But maybe only one out of two dozen will be right, just because that’s the way cane is.

    -William Bennett (Talking about cutting oboe reeds, from the latest San Francisco Symphony brochure.)

    Thanks, http://www.myspace.com/thestandingroom">M. C- for the reminder of this quote!)
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