29. March 2007 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: imported, Quotes

No longer tired, Henry comes away from the wall where he’s been leaning, and walks into the middle of the dark auditorium, toward the great engine of sound. He lets it engulf him. There are these rare moments when musicians together touch something sweeter than they’ve ever found before in rehearsals or performance, beyond the merely collaborative or technically proficient, when their expression becomes as easy and graceful as friendship or love. This is when they give us a glimpse of what we might be, of our best selves, and of an impossible world in which you give everything you have to others, but lose nothing of yourself. Out in the real world there exist detailed plans, visionary projects for peaceable realms, all conflicts resolved, happiness for everyone, for ever—mirages for which people are prepared to die and kill. Christ’s kingdom on earth, the workers’ paradise, the ideal Islamic state. But only in music, and only on rare occasions, does the curtain actually lift on this dream of community, and it’s tantalisingly conjured, before fading away with the last notes.

-Ian McEwan, Saturday


28. March 2007 · Comments Off on Cute · Categories: imported, Videos

Oboe Movie – A Day in the Life. (A typo—Elivis?!—and an oboe with missing keys … but cute!)

And now off to work on reeds, and to practice the Ravel for next week (English horn: Ravel’s Piano Concerto).

28. March 2007 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: imported, Other People's Words

  • For example, the music John Williams wrote for E.T. is like a symphony. It’s complex and it’s not that easy to play. (Ahhh. So that’s what makes a symphony!)

    and from the same article:

  • Classical music used to be written to accompany plays on the stage or as background music for another activity, but we became purists and forgot that the music in the past was meant to accompany something else. Film is the modern theater. (Well sure, classical music was sometimes used for those purposes … but is the speaker implying it always was?)
  • I lost my bocal today. Without my bocal, I cannot play my English horn. When I cannot play my English horn, I am NOTHING!!!
  • There was the day when I stayed after to help Kitty with her English Horn thingy. (… um … thingy?!
  • Why do they always have the synthesizer and oboe? Why is oboe the only real instrument used? Sometimes they have strings, but in the except that we saw on friday, I only heard synth strings and oboe. It’s true that oboe has a cheesy sound to it, but that’s only when it’s used for stuff like this. In orchestral music, it adds a nice and unique colour. ……..ok, that was the music comment from the music major.
  • I was inspired by the movie Amadeus. I realized that I liked to rock out to classical music and that I needed to show that. and Classical music is really the same thing today as just centuries earlier. (Read more here.)
  • All of the wind solos were well played with each taking their turn and stepping aside for the next. The oboe and English horn duet was especially well done, as was the viola and cello solos. (Shame on the paper for not catching that error.)
  • Is there a national or international “Oboe (player) Day”? Or just a “Double Reeds Day”? (Well there should be. And no oboists should work on that day.)

  • So, I’m asking a strange thing from all of you. Bother me to practice my oboe. Make me do it. Ask me how it’s going, etc. I need to do this for my sanity. And it’ll be fun. Sort of. (I understand. I really do.)


  • 28. March 2007 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: imported, Quotes

    Terri Gross: What kept you going to high school and college, in spite of the success that you were having?

    Booker T.: Well, I had not yet met my own standards, I wasn’t yet writing the music I was hearing in my mind; I had a classical background and a curiosity for all of the European greats that had written so much wonderful classical music and I needed to know how to arrange for the orchestra. I needed to know how to conduct … I just had to continue my education in order to imrpove myself as a musician.

    T.G.: You know, having heard you play I never would have guessed that you were into classical music and I might not have known that you were as studious and serious sounding as you are.

    BT: … I spent many hours listening to the old masters: everything from Bach, to Stravinsky, to Chopin; learning that music and learning how it was put together — and studying.

    T.G.: You played a lot of different instruments when you were young … you played ukelele, oboe, saxophone, trombone, piano, organ, clarinet. Did having a working knowledge with all those instruments help you as a musician ….

    BT: Yeah, I think it did … starting with oboe, which is a C instrument. I played that when I was in fourth grade because I was too young to play in the band and they wouldn’t let me in but no one else would play the oboe so I took that up and that’s how I got in the band in fourth grade ….

    Heard here (Thanks, Pam, for telling me about this!) So oboe … Booker T. and oboe. Who’da thunk it?! 🙂 And he mentioned Silbelius. Cool.

    27. March 2007 · Comments Off on Music & Tears · Categories: imported, Ramble

    My headache did finally leave, I have a new “do” (as in haircut) … well … it looks the same, I suppose. But it’s lighter (as in thinned out a bit … have a lot of hair) and I think it means I’ve lost weight. Or something.

    But anyway, I’m home now, and it’s off to bed. I hope to sleep. Last night I woke up nearly every hour. Until it was time to wake up in the morning. Insomnia is not a pleasant thing. (But is it called insomnia when you fall asleep but wake up each hour?)

    Lack of sleep makes me grumpy. Just so you know.

    But the music … well … I actually was so moved at the beginning when the chorus was singing a cappella, that I began to cry. Was it my lack of sleep? The beauty of the music? The fact that I got to the rehearsal early to check out reeds and found out that the choir had taken over the stage? (Do choral directors not realize we have to warm up, check out reeds … make noise, otherwise known as music?) The death of my father?

    Oh. Probably all of the above.

    But I ramble about things that really aren’t all that important when it comes to oboe. Go figure.

    More important things to appear here soon. I promise.

    27. March 2007 · Comments Off on Hah! · Categories: imported, Ramble

    In response to In Other News Jill wrote, “Well, I am impressed! Seems like I only do housework to get out of practicing these days.”

    Um. Blush. Well, yes.

    Why do you think I got so much housework done? That was all BEFORE the reed work. 😉

  • Studio dusted and vacuumed
  • Family room vacuumed
  • Bathrooms cleaned
  • Five pieces of cane shaped (yeah, I know, big whoop!)
  • Three oboe reeds wound, a bit of whittling done (while listening to Butterfly)
  • Huge, rotten, painful headache (grumble)
  • Haircut at 2
  • 2 students after
  • Verdi at 7:30

    Busy day. This headache better go away. NOW.

  • 27. March 2007 · Comments Off on 1st Annual Irene Dalis Vocal Competition! · Categories: Announcements, imported

    … and no, I won’t be entering. They didn’t have a category for “pretty darn mediocre voice” so oh well! (I’m too OLD anyway!)

    But if any readers are interested, Read about it, and see all that’s required for the preliminary West Coast Auditions.

    27. March 2007 · Comments Off on How To (Attempt To) Make It Work · Categories: A Musician's LIfe, imported, Ramble

    Planning on living the life of a musician? Think you have what it takes? And do you understand how few get the Big Gig that will pay for a “normal” life. (Okay, so no musician ever really lives a normal life … when you lose most weekends and a lot of evenings normal doesn’t happen.) Do you realize you may live your entire life as a freelance musician? It isn’t that you aren’t good enough … there are only so many jobs, there are only so many auditions, and you have about 10 minutes to prove that you are the best. Sometimes the best isn’t the best that day. Sometimes the best doesn’t audition as well. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

    So be prepared.

    Read Jason Heath’s blog. He has covered it all. He’s done it all. Heck, he’s even watched a car burn up. The guy has lived the musician’s life, believe me.

    And he has very good things to say about how he survives in the crazy music biz.

    26. March 2007 · Comments Off on Do You Hear the People Sing? · Categories: imported, Ramble

    Or … more importantly to this oboist … Do you hear the musicians play?

    Because we aren’t being hired as much these days. For shows like Les Misérables (for those of you not in the know, that’s where the subject title comes from), the large pit orchestra has gotten smaller since it was first performed. Reduced orchestration. It’s the thing to do. Sometimes. For other shows, things like the virtual orchestra has replaced instrumentalists. The legitimate, if frustrating, smaller pit bands are there because composers are writing for smaller and smaller groups. They have to … to get performed. It’s all about money, folks.

    But the reduced orchestras and the fake orchestras … sigh … what can ya do?

    I just wonder if audiences care. Or even notice. How tuned in are audience members?

    When Jameson and I went to CATS a few years back, the pit band consisted of three keyboard players and a rhythm section. I couldn’t believe how abominable the music was (but then that show isn’t particularly wonderful anyway). But the rest of the audience? They were on their feet at the end. I heard no complaints.

    Read Theater’s Alive With the Sound of Laptops here.

    And yes, as Deceptively Simple points out, the article isn’t exactly poifect … as he quotes:

    „Technology is always a threat to live music,‰ said Bruce Pomahac, director of music at Rodgers & Hammerstein. „When the pianoforte replaced the harpsichord, every harpsichordist was out of a job.”