We did our last performance of Rigoletto this afternoon. I have to say, I just love that opera. Great music. So well put together. And very fun to play. I’ll miss it.

Now I’m sitting at home, wasting time on the Academy Awards. I must say that the nominated songs are really pretty darn awful. That was all they could come up with. Yikes. And John Travolta is downright scary.

Hold on … here we go …

Best song?

(Please let it be “Falling Slowly” which is the only one I can stand … or “Raise it Up” which is bearable.)

… here we go …

Falling Slowly

Thanks, guys. I like the tune. It’s pretty. (Dan says it sounds like another song. It’s definitely not terribly original. But it makes me smile.)

Besides, the guy who is talking sounds kind of sweet. I like sweet. And it’s a movie (Once) I want to see ….

Stupid orchestra, though … give them at least a moment to talk. Geesh.


Jon Stewart just brought out the woman (a musician!) who was cut off by the orchestra (how ironic, eh?) and she got to finish what she was saying. Man. That was the best thing ever. Woo hoo! Kudos to Mr. Stewart.


I’m not going to go into detail and point out the instrument, but someone sounds awfully bad during the segment showing all the folks who have died this past year. Yikes. Bad stuff.

24. February 2008 · Comments Off on Ah, Reviewers … · Categories: Ramble, You Gotta Be Kidding

I’ve heard of reviewers going to half a concert and reviewing the whole thing. Oh yeah, there was also that reviewer who didn’t attend the concert and wrote up a review. Only trouble was the program had been changed. Big Oops. And loss of a job.

Now a magazine has reviewed an album it never listened to. Amazing, if it’s true. Especially since they mag seems to think it was okay to make an “educated guess”.

But then again … it was Maxim. (No link here; why bother?) I’m guessing they had other things on their minds. Or other places. It’s not exactly a magazine worth wasting much time over. Right?

(Thankfully I don’t believe any reviewers around here skip out early on concerts these days — the one who did is not longer working for the paper — and I pretty much trust them to give what they think is an accurate review. I have never known one to fake an entire review.)

24. February 2008 · Comments Off on Awww · Categories: Links

Congratulations, Brian!

More stuff to make me teary. Go figure.

Must be all this rain ….

I hadn’t been to Brandon’s altair nouveau site for eons, so I don’t know if this is all new or if his picture (done by him of course) has been like this for a while or not. I sometimes check out his myspace page, but there’s not much that changes there. (I check, sometimes, just to be see if he’s around, because we are not phone people and he’s not an email person either.)

Anyway, it was fun to see and hear. Not an oboe in sight, though. 😉

Let’s dance! Oh. Wait. I don’t know how.

24. February 2008 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

Experience has taught me that powerful hands capable of performing whatever is most rapid and light are not always those which show to best advantage in tender and expressive pieces, and I declare in all good faith that I am more pleased with what moves me than with what astonishes me.

François Couperin, L’Art de Toucher le Clavecin, Paris, 1716

(Thanks, James Roe!)

23. February 2008 · Comments Off on Late Arrival · Categories: Ramble

I’m home. Finally. It’s actually only about 15 minutes later (I doubt anyone in my house even noticed!), but it feels much later.

We had a delay before the final act; tonight’s Rigoletto, it was announced, would be unable to finish the opera. Scott Bearden had to be called and he came in and finisehd up for us. This meant a bit of a pit sit while we waited.

These things happen. I remember at least two other times when we had to do this, and I’ve read about it in other places.

I think we need a replacement for the oboist as well. Just in case her reed says, “No more!”

Anyway, I’m quite exhausted and I need a good sleep. (FYI for my mom and sister: I have a feeling I’ll be staying home tomorrow morning. I really need to get some energy going here, and I think rest is the only way ….)

So … I guess, if you drive an Infitini, you won’t need a cello case for your cello.

Because this ad makes that pretty clear.

Stupid ads. Stupid, stupid ads.

Of course, maybe with a “crossover car” you have a “crossover artist” … and maybe they just aren’t as picky about their instruments.

FYI: Kiri hates crossover stars.

23. February 2008 · Comments Off on John Mack Oboe Camp · Categories: Announcements

I just received this:

John Mack Oboe Camp: Continuing the Legacy at Wildacres

The John Mack Oboe Camp will take place in Little Switzerland, NC from June 6-13, 2008. Nathan Hughes and Scott Bell, both students of the late John Mack, will be teaching this summer. In addition, Thom Moore, oboist and a Grammy award winning recording engineer, will give a masterclass on the specifics and difficulties of recording the oboe. Repairman John Symer will present a basic adjustment masterclass and be available to assist participants with their instruments. The focus of camp is standard etudes, orchestral excerpts and solo literature. Applications and more information are available online at http://dept.kent.edu/oboecamp

Of course we have our own oboe workshop nearby, which John Mack used to hold, but Hidden Valley Music Seminars hasn’t continued with the John Mack name. Elaine Douvas will be there this year, as she was last year.

Small world little tidbit: I played at John Symer’s wedding reception, when he and a former oboe student of mine, Coco Wiedmer, were married.

23. February 2008 · Comments Off on Hah! · Categories: Fun

Despite their elitism and grouchy nature, double-reed players are actually very popular to have around in the ensemble, because their presence insures that a random clarinet player cannot approach you and start complaining about their reeds. A double-reed player’s rehearsal time is spent either complaining about their reed or working on the reed they will be complaining about tomorrow.

For more go here.

23. February 2008 · Comments Off on Blogger Points · Categories: Blogger Points, Ramble

I think I will start a new category. When a blogger writes something that makes this oboist happy, I will award blogger points. (Although I think a better word should be discovered. Blogpoints? Bloints? Plogoints? Gee … nothing is working! A little help here …??)

I just found a blog entry that wins double points for these:

I must say that Francois’ playing makes you rethink the oboe. I now want oboes everywhere. Oboes for everyone is my new, albeit odd, motto.

Go to a classical concert. It’s good for the soul. Trust me on this. We rarely listen anymore – to anything. Give yourself the opportunity to really listen and to listen to something beautiful. Discover where your mind takes you and report back.

So yay for Becky, whoever you are!