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

… but no brain cells are functioning. So they will have to wait! Right now I need a good rest, I do believe.

Tomorrow it’s a full day: UCSC, opera rehearsal, followed King and I. So who knows if I’ll actually get to blogging or not.

But just this one thing
One of the sad things about this career is that I sometimes miss something a child of mine is doing. Jameson had opening night of Bye Bye Birdie tonight. It continues through this Saturday, and then will start up again next Wednesday and run through Friday. I can’t go until next week. (Which is better than saying, “I can’t go at all” … right?) I wish I could have been there tonight.

There were times I missed concerts that Brandon or Kelsey were involved in. I missed Brandon’s Mock Trial experience completely, and missed some of Kelsey’s. Sometimes I feel like a negligent mom. Sigh.

And this one thing too
I am rather amazed, but Daniel Levitin emailed me regarding my blog entry about his book, This Is Your Brain on Music. (Why is it that I now have “If I Only Had A Brain” running through my head? Geesh.) And he said I’m right! Me! Now this is truly astounding. Probably a once-in-a-lifetime rightness. So I’m going to bask in it for at least fifteen minutes. (I’m hopeful that I’ll be asleep after that so no basking will occur.)

But Mr. Levitin wrote to say that yes, “oboes (or any other instrument) have lots of different timbres.” I’d post more of what he wrote, but I feel as if I should get permission to do that.

How ’bout that, though? I’m not so dummm as I thot. ;-)

… or am I?
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09. November 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

Opera ended a tad early for me, so I got home on the early side (2:15) for my 3:00 lesson. I finished teaching at about 4:45. We had dinner. And I don’t leave for King & I until 7:00.

So much time to waste. Wow.

And yet, now I have only 11 minutes left before I hit the road.

I excel in wasting time.
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09. November 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Quotes

Think about having the success of your professional career hinging on a piece of bamboo.

Read the whole thing here.

I confess, though, that my reeds last longer. Because I make them last. I’m cruel that way.

I checked the Wikipedia link, and I would suggest caution in following that small lesson. I would never clip a tip until I’ve done some scraping. I really can’t imagine anyone clips tips without scraping. Do tell, folks!
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09. November 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

I blog mostly for fun. It’s just an enjoyable thing to do. I hope, while I’m doing it, I also manage to bring the world of oboe, and a bit of the musician’s life, to folks who are interested enough to stick around and read. I like to fill students and other oboists in on what’s happening. I like to ramble on (and on) about things that interest me, hoping someone else might find these things equally interesting. And I like to blog about how reeds are a pain (as if oboists didn’t already know), how to deal with that pain, and various other reedcentric things.

And, of course, it’s a place to whine. As I’ve said many a time, musicians excel in whining. I firmly believe we are to use the gifts God has given us. If whining is one, who am I to hide that talent from the masses?

But I ramble.

What I was coming back here to say is that I’m not sure how or why, but I’ve been declared one of the “Top 10″ here. I’ve known this for quite some time (maybe over a year?) but I can’t remember if I’ve ever blogged about it. For some, this might become a big boost. Some sort of ego trip. Heck, why not have a t-shirt that reads “Top 10″?

For me?

Well, I just check there occasionally to see if I’ve been removed.

It’s not that I see the glass half empty while others see the glass half full. I just see the glass for what it is. Really.

Reading
I’ve finally begun This Is Your Brain on Music by Daniel J. Levitin. So far I’ve only read the intro, and I’m working on the first chapter now.

In the intro the author writes:

American spend more money on music than on sex or prescription drugs. Given this voracious consumption, I would say that most Americans qualify as expert music listeners.

Hmmm. Does purchasing music in large quantities necessarily mean that the buyers are really listening? What is realy listening. And does buying a lot of something make one an expert? I’m puzzling over this.

The writer, though, is a Smart Man™ and I’m an Oboe Woman™ so perhaps he is the more qualified to determine things like this.

It’s an interesting read, to be sure.

In the first chapter he talks about timbre saying:

Timbre is that which distinguishes one instrument from another—say, trumpet from piano—when both are plaing the same written note. It is a kind of tonal color that is produced in part by overtones from the instrument’s vibrations.

I have students work on long tones for a number of reasons. Two of these reasons are pitch (we need to hold an A to tune an orchestra, so we may as well get started on holding a note still and in tune … we can bend pitch pretty darn easily) and what I have always called timbre. I think we can change the “color” of the note on an oboe and it’s pretty disconcerting to hear someone changing timbre while playing a line of music. But am I referring to something different than the author? I feel as if he’s saying an oboe has one timbre, a trumpet another. I think the oboe can have different timbres. (Heck, listen to Pierre Pierlot and then listen to John Mack!)

Of course I guess what he says doesn’t negate what I’m writing about. Right? So maybe I’m just yakking about a whole lotta nothing.

But I’m just pondering … and perhaps poorly.

Perhaps you pity the poor patty ponderer? :-)
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09. November 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

I didn’t manage to stay awake for Letterman. AND I slept through the entire night without waking once. Recently that’s not happened very often. I was fearful I’d not sleep because RLS (restless leg syndrome) hit me … while in the pit last night! ARGH! It’s extremely difficult to sit in a pit when one’s legs are going bonkers. I thought I was in for a rough night. But when my head hit that pillow I was out.

Today I have opera, teach a couple of students, and, as always, dance with the King and whistle with Anna.

And I have my periodical throbbing headache. Figures.

In Other News
Norman Lebrecht writes about music blogs*. It’s pretty much typical Lebrecht stuff. I’m not going to comment here. I’m too busy.

And my head hurts.

*Link no longer working