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

I just read that Jason Heath has a week of Nutcrackers left. I think doing Nuts after Christmas is just wrong. Really, really wrong. :-)

Anyway, hang in there Jason! (But why does you “What I’m Doing” say that you are “Enjoying a relaxing Christmas vacation” …? Hmmm. Even while Nutcrackers are going on? You mean to say I’ve been on vacation for two weeks and I didn’t even know it? Whoa.)

23. December 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

Coronation Mass Rehearsal, performance Sunday

2 rehearsals, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0

Christmas Cantata Rehearsal, performance Christmas Eve

It is NOT fun to be playing along, feeling okay, when suddenly, while playing the oboe duo in Capriccio Italien (don’t ask) a note doesn’t come out. At all. And then another note doesn’t come out. (At least they weren’t all in a row, but the tone of all the other notes was rotten too, if you ask me. (I hope it wasn’t as noticeable to the audience as it was to yours truly.) Sigh.

Reed. Cracked. I’m. Bummed.

But that’s life in show biz, eh?

So out comes another reed. (I do have several reeds soaked, of course.) But you can’t change reeds in the middle of a soli!

Oh well.

And now Nutcracker is over. I move on to something else. (Bethany Lutheran in Menlo Park. Christmas Concert. Tomorrow night.)

23. December 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Videos, Watch

But Scorsese really needed a better conductor! Surely it can’t be that difficult to find an actor with some musicality? Sigh.

But anyway, very, very funny.

(I read about it here and she comments on the conducting too.)

23. December 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

Whew!

And so, due to the inability to get to church (Nuts start too early), I made cookies.
cookies.JPG

These are the cookies I attempt to make every year (I blew it last year and Dan had to go for it). The are all double chocolate, but the green are mint-chocolate, the spreckled orange-chocolate, and the powdered sugar just plain old double chocolate.

Yum! (Really. They are absolutely delicious, if I do say so myself.)

And just for your viewing pleasure … a couple of fun pix:
megasonchristmastree.JPG

Megan’s first trip to a Christmas tree farm. Jameson clearly is old hat, and looking quite bored. Or is that manly? Or is it just Jameson being serious?!

But speaking of goofy!
spacemanjameson.JPG

Now THIS is how to decorate a tree! :-)

But if you like the more traditional way … here is further decorating …

danmegasontree.JPG

As I sit and compose music, and I’m having a really good session where the music is just pouring out, I don’t really know what I’m doing, where it’s really coming from, how many notes are there, how it relates to the overall structure, and other parameters composers like to go on about. When I look at it later, I may notice these things, or make up an analysis or scholarly stories about “how the music works” or how I composed it. But I fear that “where music comes from” will always be a mystery. I’m not ready to ape Stravinsky and tell you that I am but the vessel through which it passes to be given to the world. I’m not going to tell you that I channel music. I’m not going to tell you that God composes my music. I just don’t know, and that’s fine.

-Roger Bourland (RTWT)

When I was studying poetry and I read these books that analyzed some poems, telling me all sorts of amazing things, I often wondered, “Did the poet KNOW he/she did that when he/she was writing?” And when I would submit a poem and my poetry pals would say, “Oh look! You did this and this and this …” and point out all the fabulous things I must have intentionally done (hah … okay, okay, there weren’t really fabulous!). And I’d say, “Oh. I didn’t know I did that.” It just happened. (NOT, mind you, that I’m any sort of real poet. I do write piffle, and I’ll readily admit that!) But that did get me to thinking about music and if composers always deliberately do things that the “take apart and analyze to bits” people find, or if their talent just naturally leads them to do things that then the analyzers analyze and wonder over. Seems to me that natural is kinda nice. I like that whole “wonder” thing. too. If everything was completely deliberate would (is) it still as wondrous?

Hmmm. Maybe my tummy is causing me to write silly. Perhaps I really better rest. Now!

But anyway, I liked what Roger wrote. So I’ll just leave it there.

(“What Roger Wrote” … I think that could be a book or a title of a piece of music or something. Or a poem. Maybe a bad poem. I could do that.)

Oh … and I do want to ask composers (I know there are some who read this) if you take into consideration things like breathing and endurance. I’ve never asked this before. If you write for an oboe do you think about the fact that we need a moment to rest our “chops” on occasion? Do you think about where we would breathe? I’m not asking out of any ill will. I was truthfully just wondering as I was playing Nutcracker yesterday. (We have added music in this production, and my chops were falling off … if chops can do that!)

Composers? Wanna fill me in?

Here’s my list of composers I currently link to:

Roger Bourland
Jerry Bowles
Lawrence Dillon
Elaine Fine
Kyle Gann
Matthew Guerrieri
Steve Hicken
Fred Himebaugh
Michael Kaulkin
Peter Kaye
Alex Shapiro
Daniel Wolf

23. December 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

I’m feeling a little bit yucky. As in good old nausea kind of yucky. With a bit of a headache and dizziness. I have two Nuts today, with a very nice dinner in between.

I cannot get sick, I cannot get sick, I cannot get sick ….

In other news: I’m #25. Last time I was #29. Before that I was #15, but I don’t think Scott had his full list of classical music blogs at that point. (Although I’m too lazy—and feeling to crummy—to check right now.) I probably wouldn’t include some blogs he has there, and I might put in others. But what the heck do I know?

Well, off to rest with me! I have written silly lyrics to the beginning of the Sugar Plum Fairy music (celeste parts), but I won’t post them here for now. I have to decide if the word “butt” is too strong for this family friendly site!

Oops. Too late. I already wrote it! ;-)