01. April 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

Because NO ONE has ever thought to use “Bach” for “back”. Right?

A CRIMEFIGHTING scheme will use dolphins and classical music to make vandals Bach off!

Bosses at Blackburn with Darwen Council believe art in the form of a dolphin mural and highbrow music will prove to be the natural enemies of gangs gathering in a Blackburn town centre subway.

But oh my … the whole article is just too darn funny, in a sad sort of way. Still, it IS April 1 (but it was published March 31). Perhaps this is a joke?

The council said a similar scheme has been used very successfully in Burnley. Burnley councillor Roger Frost, who oversaw the development of the town’s bus station in 2002 said that classical music had had “a calming effect” on gangs who had been gathering there.

He said: “I believe it has a had a calming effect and dissuaded gangs from hanging around, even though the idea was met with incredulity at first. Some people don’t like the idea of having to listen to music that’s not their taste, but it’s quite light, jolly classical music – it’s not operatic dirges or anything. Some like it and others either ignore it or put their own headphones on, but gangs don’t like it at all.”

A spokeswoman for the council said: “The dolphin theme mural will ensure there is no blank wall to encourage tagging by graffiti artists. Secondly, classical music will be played in the subway to discourage youths from hanging around.”

… because no one ever tags a dolphin.

01. April 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

“We ran a couple of classical music tracks at one point that were simply too musical,” Lillie said. “They take over, and you start focusing on the music.”

The New Age instrumentals were “spa-like and soothing” — perfect to make passengers relax as they line up at a metal detector. “It’s like aural wallpaper,” Lillie said.

I used to call some “New Age” music “nothing music”. Seems like that’s what they were looking for, yes?

And, besides, who wants music that is too musical? (Read here.)

Side note: Truthfully, I’d prefer no music at all. Classical would cause me to listen, and it’s just too noisy to hear properly. New Age would cause me to bristle. Pop might cause me to cringe (not all, mind you, but of course it’s all about preferences and everyone disagrees about what the good stuff is). And you just know that anything more violent would cause me to pull out the reed knives. ;-)

01. April 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

Hugh Sung blogs about a tough piece (Ginastera’s Popul Vuh) and how he dealt with it. (Glad my counting explanation helped, Hugh!) He had hoped to record the work as they rehearsed, so he could learn it easier. (He reported that it doesn’t seem to exist on CD, aside from a very expensive recording.)

Most of my colleagues will know the recording idea was quickly nixed.

There certainly are copyright issues, but it’s also in most of our contracts: no recording without permission of the orchestra.

I know it seems stupid to many people, but thems the rules, so there ya go.

Someone once recorded an orchestra i used to play in and another musician found the recording for sale somewhere in Europe. Stuff like that really does happen, albeit rarely.

I know Hugh wouldn’t have sold the recording though. And I understand wanting to have a study recording.

I’ve been told that subs for musicals on Broadway bring in their little recording devices when they are auditing a show before they come in to play. I know because one of those musicians moved out here and was subbing for me. She brought in her recorder, but the contractor saw it and had her turn it off. She was astounded. She had recorded numerous musicals in New York. Many were brand new, still under the stringent copyright laws.

It’s an interesting issue, isn’t it? Recording for the betterment of one’s performance, but breaking copyright laws and/or union regulations …?

What a can of worms. I think I’ll not touch this.

Oops. Already did.

01. April 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

I’ve frequently given free lessons to prospective students. I have been thanked. Twice.

Sometimes I drive over thirty miles to teach these free lessons. Sometimes I rearrange my life for these lessons. And I know I’m not the only one. Please, students, take the time to thank teachers when they give you free lessons. “Thank you” is fairly easy to say and it doesn’t hurt. Honest.

Thank you.

01. April 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

It began yesterday morning, and it’s still in my ears. Sigh. It sounds like, from a bit of a distance, an engine running. We live miles away from an airport, but sometimes, when the weather is right (or would that be wrong?!), I can hear those engines and that’s sort of what I’m hearing … but it’s right in my ears. It’s also a bit similar to needing to pop one’s ears; I keep yawning, hoping that will make it go away.

When I was having my low iron issue I had something similar, and I thought it was about the iron deficiency. I told one of my doctors about it (after it had gone away and I chalked it up to the iron) and she suggested that it was a virus rather than anything to do with the iron. Since my iron level is fine now, I’m hoping she’s right and that this will go away. It’s going to be very difficult to play the oboe with this constant noise.

Hmm. An airplane is flying overhead. To be honest, the sound is appealing right now, because it comes close to blocking out this ever present rumble in my ears.

Maybe it’s some sort of allergy? I’m guessing it’s not tinnitus. Mostly because I don’t want it to be, but also because I’ve always thought that would be a higher pitched sound. This is quite low … much like the airplane engines (which is why they sound wonderful at the moment—they block it out!).

Ah well. Never a dull moment. Just dull constant humming sound.