06. December 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

Ugh. Reeds are misbehaving. Weather keeps changing. I’m gonna get grumpy if I can’t find a few English horn reeds to get me through the month.

I did resort to ordering a couple; one wouldn’t work at all, and the other one has slipping blades that look to be slipping further all the time. I think it might have arrived cracked too. Sigh. So nix those. (I won’t even tell you what they cost!)

I’m using a few older reeds, but they are on their way to a reed coffin and it could be any minute now that I will have to lay them to rest.

So it’s back to the drawing board. Or at least the reed room. With Nutcracker lurking I really must get a few reeds that will take me through the run … and I need a reed that will cooperate with Pictures at an Exhibition as well … which means playing in tune (duh), good attacks for one movement and a good high E-flat for another. It’s not at all a tough piece, but it does require a cooperative reed.

Why must reeds be so rebellious anyway?

I also managed to lightly bump my oboe with my English horn. Not a big deal, I thought. Hah! I picked up the oboe and only high notes would come out. Hmmm. I’m playing the English horn/oboe 3 part in Pictures. Needless to say that means oboe basement playing. After puzzling over what the heck I could have done, I realized that the English horn bell had tapped the bottom octave key and had bent it enough to keep the darn octave key opened! Can you believe it? It was a simple fix once I figured it out, but what a thing to happen right before downbeat. Still, I handled it with not a lot of anxiety. I guess, after all these years, I just don’t panic quite like I used to. Or maybe I’m too old to panic like I used to! ;-)

06. December 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Ramble

… plaintive cries of the woodwinds in the pastoral “Scene in the Fields” …. (RTWT)

Gee, do you think that maybe an ENGLISH HORN PLAYS in that movement?

Ya think? ;-)

And … now don’t laugh at me, please … for some reason the word “plaintive” just bugs me. And the reason makes absolutely no sense at all (but since when did this oboist make sense?). I think it has something to do with the word containing “plain”. Heh. Silly, no? Sort of like how the word “limpid” also bugs me I guess.

Anyone else have such irrational issues with some words? I know I have others … I’ll have to start a list!

Spies sent several separate reports from Johnny Mathis’ Friday night concert with the San Francisco Symphony. According to Jack Farrell, Mathis was singing “Look at me” in the song “Misty” while “all eyes, except his, were on the oboe section and its downstage neighbors.” One of the giant contact-lens-looking sound reflectors hanging from the ceiling was coming down, “gently and insistently … onto their heads and instruments.” Mathis sang on, unaware. According to Carol Parlette, the musicians attempted to hold it above their heads, then gave up, it went down to the floor and someone shouted, “You brought down the house.”

The tech crew struggled while Johnny sang “Stranger in Paradise,” said Farrell, who I’m taking it is either a great reporter or a poet (maybe both). He says that as the thing ascended back to its proper place, Mathis was singing the lyric “Somewhere in space I hang suspended.”

Found here

Ya gotta love it. Right?

06. December 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Links

… can he make an oboe reed?

So Anthony Hopkins paints. So he composes. So he plays piano. But does he make reeds? That’s all that matters. Right?

(RTWT, located first over at the well tempered blog)