I just landed at someone’s blog due to an oboe reference. It includes this:

Ms. Barbara Orland, the oboist, introduced us to her instrument, and the trials of double reeds. She explained how reeds must be handmade and tailored to the individual’s embouchure; how they have to be premoistened, which is why you’ll see the double reeds onstage early with their little vials of water, soaking reeds; and she demonstrated the difference between a good reed and a wearing-out reed.

She had with her some cane from which reeds are made, and she showed us what it looked like, saying that it comes from France and no one has had success growing it in the U.S. But then she stopped and said it might just be the pretensions of musicians who believe they have to have FRENCH cane!

(Read here)

I do know of someone who was harvesting cane from the Sacramento Delta (I was a bit leery of anything growing there … how do we know if that water is okay … but then how do we know about any cane, eh?). I also know some folks are buying cane from somewhere in South America. (Now I can’t remember where, though.) So I do think some oboists are a bit more adventurous.

Anyway, the blog entry was interesting; Ms. Orlund, assistant principal of Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, does underwater photography and played Britten’s Six Metamorphosis after Ovid while the pictures were showing. (She renamed the movements.) I would have liked to have attended!

22. January 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Ramble

It’s not a big deal to many of you, I know, but it was fun to see some light snow dusting the hills on my way to UCSC this morning. I’ve been teaching here (Yes, I’m on campus now) for 5+ years, and this is a first for me. Not that it hasn’t snowed in the Santa Cruz mountains for that long, but I’ve just never hit a day when it was still there. Very lovely.

Then, getting into the city of Santa Cruz, I was greeted with the strongest methane odor I’ve ever had to deal with. Ugh! It was horrendous. It makes me wonder if perhaps I’ll run into a problem getting home; I can’t imagine this is something that doesn’t need to be dealt with, and I just hope I don’t find myself running into a road block or something. (There’s only one road from here to home that’s worth taking.)

News you can(‘t) use. :-)

22. January 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Videos, Watch

Sorry … just had to write that. It’s not my fault!