25. July 2007 · Comments Off on Why I Think My Next Recital Should Be 15 Minutes Long · Categories: Ramble

I had deliberately kept the opera short in case it sucked. I didn’t want to waste anybody’s time.

-Shannon Wheeler (RTWT)

Yes. I think I’ll keep my next recital short. Just in case. ;-)

(For those of you who don’t know me … I’M JUST JOKING! Honest and true. I just like to kid around sometimes.)

25. July 2007 · 4 comments · Categories: Ramble

So I read a news article that began:

Forget the stodgy image of stuffy people playing the music of dead European men; classical music is a young art for the new generation of composers and musicians. And both will be on tap with the Utah Symphony’s Deer Valley Music Festival.

Which caused me to wonder how many things I’d find if I did a search of “classical music” + stuffy. Hah. Google suggested that maybe I meant “classical music” stuff. No. Of course I meant “stuffy”. Silly Google.

The results from Google? Well, they showed me 1 – 30 of about 167,000 for “classical music” stuffy.

And who, you wonder, wrote stuff with “classical music”? Well … here you go, page 1 (cleaned up a bit for your enjoyment):

About Stuffed Penguin
We think the stuffy, black-tie culture surrounding classical music deters people from getting to know the music better. We want to create an environment …

Classical Music Starter Guide @ Everything2 . com
Tip #1: Classical music is not stuffy. Classical musicians are not stuffy. Well, most of us aren’t. We give off that impression because of our ever-so-quiet …

Boundless: Why Listen to the Dead White Males?
Many fans of popular music think classical music stuffy and outdated. The irony is that much of what they’re playing will be forgotten in a year, …

oboeinsight » Blog Archive » Stuffy. Again. (Yeah, yours truly right up at the top.)
Stuffy. Again. The stuffiness of the setting put me off, a stuffiness you could feel … But the writer of the above quote isn’t dissing classical music. …

Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog – music: Classical music is not a …
But that doesn’t make classical music a “well-behaved form” – far from it. … Scratch that, they can be very stuffy. But those people you see dripping with …

Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
The “classical music is stuffy” cliché is generated largely by TV commercials and movies; it has little or no relationship to reality, unless you’re at an …

A new crop of conductors and performers is taking Generation X to …
“We started Telling Stories because we love the idea of taking classical music out of the stuffy concert hall and attracting a younger audience,” says …

Theater, Opera, & Classical Music Audio Books, Podcasts, and …
LearnOutLoud’s Theater, Opera, & Classical Music section allows you to learn … This is no stuffy music appreciation lesson. Author Kathleen Krull makes …

The shocking truth about sex and violas – Telegraph
Is the world of classical music too stuffy by half? Certainly Muso magazine seems to think so, writes Julian Lloyd Webber. Are we our own worst enemies? …

Matthew Hindson » The Future of Classical Music?
Is classical music inherently boring, stuffy, pretentious and even irrelevant to younger people? We’ve all heard plenty of music that fits the above …

Classical music: Graham Fitkin Group Arnolfini, Bristol …
Classical music: Graham Fitkin Group Arnolfini, Bristol from Independent, … to get away from received notions of classical music as stuffy or un-cool. …

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Classical music fans ‘go digital’
I am not surprised – classical music has only ever been regarded as stuffy by the ignorant and a few fools who think that listening to it makes them better …

And You Shall Be in the Blog: Classical Music Corner
Classical Music Corner. As I’m writing, YouTube is down for maintenance, …. Go grab your headphones and learn yourselves some old stuffy music! …

Classical music is really old and stuffy. New stuff exists, but a lot of it is on the fringes, because it doesn’t feel classical at all. …

The SNL Rant
Some people might think that classical music performers are old, stuffy and boring. Well, old isn’t necessarily bad (see the last sentence of the last …

Vinyl Anachronist
When I was young, all my friends told me I was weird for liking classical music, that it was boring and stuffy and for old people only. When I got older, …

Quinteto Latino – Celebrating Latin American Classical Music
We also do a lot of explaining as appropriate. If you tend to think classical music is stuffy, we’d like to think we’ll prove you wrong! …

Arizona Daily Wildcat – Making classical music safe for students
Certainly there’s nothing boring about classical music itself. … was something almost criminal about restricting such great music to stuffy concert halls. …

Rocking classical stereotypes
There are some assumptions that classical music is stuffy and that people who play classical music can only talk about classical music. …

The music that dare not speak its name | | Guardian Unlimited Arts
The media do little to dispel the playground perception of classical music as elitist, stuffy and uncool Meurig Bowen Monday August 22, 2005 …

John Corigliano or stuffy classical… still good « Chatquah and …
John Corigliano or stuffy classical… still good. November 23rd, 2004. I’ve always objected to that peculiar fascination with how much classical music sucks. …

Sequenza21/ » Is Classical Music Too Arty-Farty for Its Own Good?
The image of classical music as “stuffy” persists no matter what. Part of it is that, I think, it’s just ingrained in our culture. …

Jessica Duchen’s classical music blog: November 2006
I was startled to find a classical music forum in which a bunch of gentlemen …. A great deal of music writing is stuffy, sawdust-dry and elitist (oh yes, …

deseretnews.com | Composer nurtures fresh approach to classical music
Forget the stodgy image of stuffy people playing the music of dead European men; classical music is a young art for the new generation of composers and …

Barnes & Noble.com Music – Classical Interview
Classical music can be very stuffy — and I don’t mean that it’s boring — but I certainly feel that you have to wake up to the fact that we are very far …

Amazon.com: Comment on this review
This is a wonderful addition to those works that try to bridge the gap between pop and classical music. This is highly recommended for all except the stuffy …

If you think all classical music is stuffy and starched, think again. Kronos Quartet fans may become distracted. 5 out of 5 stars Kronos Quartet fans may …

[PDF] Study Guide for “Who’s Afraid of Classical Music?”
Beth shows students that classical music is all around us: … music is performed by stuffy guys with white hair who wear tuxedos. HOW SHOULD YOU PREPARE? …

CBC.ca Arts – Classical concerts stuffy, twentysomethings say
London – A survey conducted in Britain and in the United States suggests that people in their 20s consider classical music concerts too stuffy and formal. …

Take a Jock to the Orchestra | Chicago Classical Music
Stuffy? Yes, I guess we are a lot of the time, and on top of that, … I brought quite a few non-musical types to classical music events and still do so …

But what does all of this mean?
Heck if I know! Except that … well … it is true that it seems a lot of classical musicians talk about being stuffy. We either are busy saying we aren’t stuffy, or else we are saying we are far too stuffy and need to change.

Maybe we should just stop using the word stuffy and talk more about how great “our” music is.

Just thinkin’ ….

OH. But I DID then do a google search on these words: rock music snobs

Guess what?

Results: 429,000 for rock music snobs

(Wow. Did I just waste an hour doing this goofy little task? Heh.)

25. July 2007 · Comments Off on I Am Not My Oboe · Categories: Ramble

… nor is being an oboist the all of what I am. I’m not even “just” (I don’t mean this in the “bad just” way but in the “only” way so I suppose I should have written only, eh?) a musician. This is not the all of me. This shouldn’t be the all of anyone.

Some of you might wonder about that; why do I mainly blog “all thing oboe and music?” Well … duh … this is my oboe blog! And I do know a bit about oboe and performing. Besides, as much as it isn’t the all of me, it is certainly a part.

Would I die if it were taken away?

In a word, NO.

I would hate to live without performing, but I know that I could. And I occasionally think about the possibility that it could be taken away, either by accident (one can’t play oboe if certain things are taken away. Say, for instance, a finger.) or by loss of talent (which also might be an accidental thing. Or not.) or by the loss of jobs I’m hired for (certainly this has already happened with musical theatre, as those jobs are becoming fewer, due to so many changes in that genre) or just by the failure of the performing groups I’m in. I have experienced the death of an orchestra once and I’d hate to deal with that sorrow again, but always, lurking in the back of my mind, is that possibility.

But I could live without the oboe if I had to. I know that.

I really appreciated what Soho the Dog had to write about this profession:

Coming up is the best lesson I ever learned. I’ll even put it in boldface, I think it’s so important. There may be a lot of things I miss, a lot of things I don’t know—but I do know this:

What you do is not who you are.

This is a hard concept for a lot of people to bend their mind around, particularly in America, with its Protestant work ethic and rampant capitalism. But again: the mere fact of success or failure at a particular activity says nothing—nothing—about one’s worth as a human being. If you’re pursuing an evil activity, sure, that probably makes you evil. But if you fail to achieve a worthy goal, all that says is that you failed. And failure is probably the most common human condition there is.

So it’s not just about music. And musicians aren’t the only ones who sometimes think, “I’ll die if I don’t succeed.” It happens to a lot of people. In a lot of different professions.

(Note: Yes, StD was writing his post in response to the death of Jerry Hadley. I can’t go there, as I am not familiar with his story in any complete way, and I also believe that depression such as I would guess he had takes away all this logical “I am not my profession” stuff. Untreated depression is a beast. When that beast has taken over one’s brain and, thus, the “all of a person” I think all this chatter becomes meaningless.)

I remind myself of this frequently. I guess it’s a matter of self-preservation. Having experienced the death of San Jose Symphony (RIP) I want to be sure I always keep this in mind.

I am many things. Yes, I’m a musician. And a wife and mother. I’m a daughter. I’m a Christian. I’m a wanna-be-poet who has faced the “wanna-be” as a permanent status. I’m a little girl in a 50 year old body. I’m a goof. I’m a success and a failure all mixed together.

Mostly I’m “just me” and that part of me will always stick around, no matter what.

I wish I could write all of this more poetically. I wish I were Jeremy Denk-like or something at times. But then again … heck, this bit ‘o bones is who I am. And even without my oboe I would still be me. Just a little less whiney.

25. July 2007 · 1 comment · Categories: Quotes

I don’t mind classical as long as it’s not a violin. I simply abhor the sound of that instrument, which makes listening to alot of ‘classical’ music something of a problem for me.

-Benge (read here)