06. October 2007 · Comments Off on I Wonder · Categories: Videos

… who “omar” is. The person has posted two videos from Opera San José.

Now how did someone manage to take these? I’m guessing it’s via someone’s phone?

06. October 2007 · Comments Off on Sigh · Categories: Ramble

Whoever decided that Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” should be used for a Manwich commercial should be forced to eat only Manwich sandwiches for the rest of his or her life.

I’m just sayin’ ….

06. October 2007 · Comments Off on Advice · Categories: Ramble

Maybe bad advice, maybe good. I dunno. But here are some things I said recently to a blog reader.

Everything diminishes with distance. Remember that. (Talking about expression.)

You aren’t supposed to be moved by the music; you are supposed to move others with your music!

But mostly you should (if I dare say “should”) focus on being your best and doing everything you can to make it. At the same time you need to know that your value as a human being has nothing … and I mean nothing … to do with oboe. If you lost a hand, you would still be of the same value as you are now.

No apologizing. That’s the very first rule in the music biz. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I don’t follow my own rules.)

Sometimes I explain to a conductor that it’s easier NOT to take a breath with oboe. But of course the audience needs to breathe, so we have to consider them as well!

… that was just some rambling, as I’m sure you can tell. Looking at what I wrote I do believe it. Even if I’m not good at following all that I say! :-)

06. October 2007 · Comments Off on Hah! · Categories: Links, Other People's Words, Quotes

(We prefer to call it condensation, thank you very much.)

I played the clarinet as a child. More precisely, a person was hired to teach me the clarinet. I learned about reeds, and I met a guy who made his own. I learned that the oboe and the bassoon were double-reed instruments, and that gave me an awe of oboe and bassoon players that persists to this day. I learned to play the spooky Halloweenish tune that everyone learns on the clarinet.

I dealt with spit. No one mentions how much spit chatter there is in the brass and reed sections. It’s not perhaps the most pleasant aspect of music making, but people should be told about it before they get heavily involved. Spit makes the clarinet-playing experience more intimate, although not in a good way. (RTWT)

No one blinked when an ambulance sped up Market Street, siren wailing, during George Gershwin’s “Cuban Overture.” And the Southwest Airlines jet that went overhead a minute later just added its own bass horn sound to the orchestra for a couple of seconds.

RTWT

I can’t imagine this didn’t bother any audience members. It might not have bothered Pizarro (does he normally attend classical music concerts, I wonder?) but I’m guessing the musicians either rolled their eyes, laughed, or were just ticked off that they had to play this. (I’ve heard things….)

Would I play there anyway? Sure. I think reaching out to the public is an excellent idea. It’s just also very, very expensive. (And yeah, we’ll whine about it because the sound is rotten and playing outdoors isn’t great for instruments. But whining is part of the biz. So there you go.) Pizarro’s suggesting his city’s little group should do the same is fine; perhaps he can also help with funding! He mentioned that the SF Symphony used amplification … well … yet another added expense. (I’m just betting that those highly paid musicians have to be getting some sort of run out fee, too, since they aren’t playing in their neighborhood.)

Perhaps the Mercury News and the City of San Jose would like to put their heads together and bring the local talent into the public’s eye. (Btw, Chuck Reed came to our first symphony concert; I hadn’t seen a mayor at a symphony concert in a number of years. Thanks, Mr. Reed!) We have symphony, opera, musical theatre, theatre, mariachi, ballet, youth orchestras, taiko, children’s musical theatre … it’s all right here. Wouldn’t it be great if the money in this valley went to these groups, rather than to the folks up the freeway who frequently treat San Jose with disdain? I think so!

(Psst, psst … to the City of San Jose … the list you have of upcoming events … well … those opera and symphony concerts are over. It’s October now! And how about listing all the performing arts groups on that page too? After all, you list all the sports groups. C’mon, you know you can do it! Oh … and your Community Profile doesn’t list a symphony. You might think about changing that. And maybe adding links to the groups, too. If you’d like a bit of help I’m here for you.)

Update
Is this really necessary? “Rival Symphony Orchestras”? I don’t see it that way. Geesh. SFS is a full time, wonderfully paying gig, with absolutely fabulous musicians. We are an extremely part time, good for a bit of extra dough in the pocket group, with some absolutely fabulous musicians. Oh … they do have MTT, though. ;-) (And, btw, the SFS Peter and the Wolf concert is by their youth orchestra. Not to be picky or anything….)

06. October 2007 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

Q: What music do you listen to?

A: Edgar Meyer (string bass player) has been a great influence on me. Working with him has been one of the most rewarding experiences. I will go to a jazz club, but I don’t use it as background music. We’re come to treat music too much like wallpaper in our culture.

Q: How does it feel to turn 40 this year?

A: Actually, I don’t feel any different. One of the luxuries of being an artist is that you can pretend to be as young as you feel. In my job there’s no mandatory retirement.

(RTWT)