19. December 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

So … there’s this thing called musicovery which I assume is a combo of the words music and discovery. You can click on different types of music, including classical, and then you can click on the words Dark, Calm, Positive or Energetic, or somewhere between those.

But maybe I want something that says “sad”. And where is “just plain pretty”? Or “simplistic”? Or how about “mind boggling beautiful”?

Just wondering. ;-)

It’s kind of fun to check out, though. Just for fun.

Canadian arts consultant Elaine Calder, hired by the Oregon Symphony to evaluate its weaknesses, has suggested that one problem is that the orchestra plays too much classical music, reports the Portland newspaper The Oregonian.

This is from a Playbill article. You can read the entire thing here.

The Oregonian newspaper article can be read beginning here. And according to the writer of the article, “Calder’s candor is refreshing.” Hmmm. Not to me.

Her candor is annoying. Her candor is wrong. But I do not find it refreshing.

So from what I’ve read so far, we should probably be doing “Christian soft-rock”. OH PLEASE SPARE ME! That music … I’ve heard a lot of it, trust me … is frequently low quality, wanna-be-pop-but-not-quite, lame stuff. (I’m a Christian, so please understand I’m not mocking the faith. Only the music.) And some is even right up there with the pop stuff. But since when does a symphony orhcestra want to play pop music? AND, when we actually do play that music, we get mocked and laughed at. And we are embarrassed. To be quite frank, when we play that sort of stuff I feel like we’ve turned the symphony hall into an extremely large elevator. Or dentist office. Muzak? Yep.

I do not want to go there, and I’d prefer to quit rather than suffer through that sort of thing.

Now of course one a year I can deal with; it might get a few new faces in the hall and they might even return for a real concert. You never know. And I don’t mind those video game shows we’ve done. It’s kind of fun to see those video folks dressed up as characters going absolutely crazy over a tune they recognize from one of their games. But what we do is play symphonic music. We are a symphony orchestra. You know?

And perhaps we should play in churches, as the article suggests. But you know what? I really dislike playing with my colleagues who don’t care for the Christian faith in a Christian setting. They don’t like doing it. Some will mock everything that is being done. (Believe me, I’ve seen that quite a lot.) And it just makes me sad.

I guess I’m for the separation of church and symphony.

James Reel shares his mild mannered thoughts as well. I like what he writes. :-)

A. C. Douglas suggests that Mr. Reel was merely being satirical. Or maybe Mr. Douglas was being satirical by suggesting that Mr. Reel was being satirical. Or something.

So tell me … if you go to a rock concert do you expect to hear rock music, or symphony music? If you go to a Willie Nelson concert do you think you’ll hear Willie or Beethoven? And when you go to a symphony concert do you think you’ll be hearing Paul McCartney?

Heh. Oh. Wait. I guess he’s tried to break in to that realm.


Reed Update
I managed to get an oboe reed that I think is going to be happy. Only time will tell. A new English horn reed hasn’t been born. Yet.

19. December 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

… and I DO apologize!

I know that some of my readers count on my counting! So here you go:

8 down … 7 to go

(And if you don’t know what I’m talkin’ about you must be sort of new here. But just go back in time and perhaps you’ll catch on.)

No shows yesterday. No shows today. It’s a nice little break. Students, yes, but no shows.

Today is still not a fully free day, what with a haircut, students and all. A very necessary haircut, I might add! On Saturday, toward the end of one of my (many) English horn solos, my hair started migrating toward my mouth. I kept thinking, “Oh no! Here it comes. Into my mouth. No … NO!” But the answer was, alas, “YES”. And so into my mouth the hair went. (Why I didn’t think to breath through my nose I haven’t a clue. In any case, you know what you get when you breathe in a mouthful of hair and then try to blow through a reed? A whole lotta nothing. (This is why I tell anyone with long hair to “Tie it BACK!” if they have a performance. I just didn’t realize my hair had grown to that length.) The next day a headband was donned. A very necessary headband.

REEDS. Grumble. Sigh. Moan. Both oboe and English horn reeds are crying out, “No more!” So I should be working on reeds. Soon. I promise. Soon … I won’t shy away … Dear old [reeds] …

Oh wait. Different subject. That’s not really about reeds, is it?

(Any Sondheim fans out there?)

And finally …
Thank You. Some of you have expressed concern and compassion regarding my father. I do thank each of you. I won’t be blogging much about my dad here … it’s difficult to write about, as you might imagine. But, so that you know, dad is home with my mother, who is caring for him ever so sweetly, and hospice is now involved. I still see glimpses of my dear dad on occasion, but so much of the time he sleeps now. I am praying that he is sleeping in peace. I find great comfort in my faith, and solace in music. Life is hard, God is good. This I believe.