16. April 2007 · Comments Off on NEVER … NO … BECAUSE … POCKETS! · Categories: imported, Videos

NEVER rest your oboe on a music stand!

NO, that is not an oboe! (It’s a clarinet.)

BECAUSE one oboe is just never enough. Right?

POCKETS are very handy when doing a recital. (At the beginning of this, when the oboist has to bend over and place items on the floor.) Robert Schumann’s first of the Three Romances are played.


16. April 2007 · Comments Off on Good Old Humiliation! · Categories: imported, Ramble

I had always thought that Bernstein had selected his favorites for his (bizarre) recording of West Side Story. (And yes, I own it, as you can see if you check out the Mitchell CD Library.) At the moment, though, I’m watching the video clip on Jason Heath’s site. It sure doesn’t look like Bernstein’s favorite is José Carreras. (I wish I could put videos up at this site, but You Tube doesn’t work with Userland’s Manila I guess. Oh well.)

Watching it might is funny to some (I see that it is to Jason). To me it’s horribly painful, because it reminds me of many a rehearsal from some years ago. I can’t go into my experiences here. Not yet anyway. (Maybe someday?) But it hurts to watch the humiliation in progress on the video clip. I’ve seen this. I’ve witnessed even worse. I’ve been the target myself.

I also immediately feel some anxiety when I see the recording studio; there’s nothing worse than having to redo something because YOU are the one who blew it, so most everyone (at least in my limited experience in the studio situation) is uptight and worried that he or she will be “it” in a take. It’s a horrible feeling. Really.

But anyway, I do think that Bernstein, if he really was the one to choose the singers for the recording, made some major mistakes. Major embarrassing mistakes. I wonder if he ever felt any humiliation because of that. Do conductors ever get humiliated like we instrumentalists do?

Okay … reeds. They are calling. I can hear them. Adieu. Ciao. Adio. Tschüss. Hasta la vista, baby. Akkil arnkuluku nyanjarl.

(Wow … I could really waste a lot of time checking out different ways of saying goodbye and avoid reeds for a very long time!)

16. April 2007 · Comments Off on Taxes & I · Categories: imported, Ramble

DONE. The taxes are finished, sent, paid. (Yes I waited until nearly the last minute. Sigh.)

I hate doing them. Every year I tell Dan that this is the final year. But the truth of it is, I’m not willing to pay anyone to do them! I’m cheap that way. So I know I’ll threaten each year, and I suspect he knows to ignore me. Now of course if HE wanted to do them I wouldn’t argue …. :-)

What hits us is my private studio income; I have to pay social security taxes on all of that. Because I report that income. But I do hope that in the long run I’ll receive a nice little social security check. When I retire. If I retire.

Hmmm. I have this sneakin’ suspicion I’ll continue to teach as long as students will take lessons from me … they keep me on my toes, they make me think, each student is different and causes me to figure out how to go about teaching for and his or her specific needs, and they really do make me smile. The other day I was teaching and I thought, “I really do love to do this!” (I’ve had the “other” days too … but I don’t go into that here—not much anyway—and in case you haven’t noticed I never blog negatively about any of my students. I just don’t like to do that.)

Today it’s “catch up day” again with errands, then reed time (woo hoo), one student, and opera tonight. Having not slept well at all last night we’ll see if I can manage to get through the opera without doing something stupid.

Oh. Wait. I do something stupid even when I’m entirely alert. Hmmm.