21. April 2008 · Comments Off on If / Then · Categories: Ramble

50 Cent isn’t happy with Alicia Keyes. Now I confess I know very little about either of them, other than their names. But now I know 50 Cent doesn’t like “that classical music s—” … well, he doesn’t like it IF Keyes doesn’t like what he’s doing.

I just have to share (I’m a giving sort). So read on:

“I don’t like Alicia Keys no more though … the same reason why I said that I don’t like Oprah Winfrey,” 50 Cent toldThe Showbuzz. “I’m prejudice(d). I don’t like people who don’t like me. If you don’t like the content that I write because of my experiences; I am being who I am when I am writing it. I fall into that ‘label’ as far as you considering artists creating ‘Gangsta music,’ we fall into that.

“If she don’t like that, (then) I don’t like that classical music s— she be doing. At some point she’s playing some s— that don’t relate to me. … We listen to it and try to figure out why people actually enjoy it. I am trying to enjoy it. That statement changes my perception of Alicia Keys totally. But the magazine is standing behind it, which means they probably have a tape of her in conversation saying it. It’s just not really a bright comment anyway.”

(RTWT)

Just FYI: if you don’t like oboe, I don’t like you. So there.

21. April 2008 · Comments Off on He Liked It: Review #1 · Categories: Reviews

Richard Scheinin was at Sunday’s performance and the review is mostly positive.

Nice.

21. April 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Videos, Watch

Double Reeds

The Goods:
Not as many people play these instruments
Colleges always need bassoonists
Key elements for some groups
Nice sounding

The Downsides:
Extremely hard to learn
Expensive ($11 – $15) for 1 reed
Takes long months of practice before even being descent

It’s the “descent” that I frequently relate to.

Read here. ;-)

21. April 2008 · Comments Off on Musical Meals · Categories: Links

Table, doubling as marimba.

No oboe reeds necessary.

21. April 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

Drew, over at Adaptistration, has an entry called Gigs After Gas. (HAH! I first called it “Gigs FOR Gas” and someday it just might come down to that, you know?) Check out what he has to say. Run the calculator

One thing you have to also add in, as Drew acknowledges, is travel time. When I drive by myself to San Francisco I allow a lot of extra time; I don’t want to be the one who shows up late due to an accident so I play it real safe. I used to leave 2 1/2 hours ahead of time. Really. It meant I usually had a ton of time to spare, but it was worth it to not stress out. (Traveling with others enabled leaving later, as I knew we were all in the same boat car so I’d stress less.) The drive home was usually about an hour (unless I ran into road construction, which did happen on occasion). So that added 3 1/2 hours of time to the gig. Time is worth $$, of course. Another addition, for me at least, is “How many students will I cancel for this?” The final question is, “Will I go crazy at this job?” (Yes, it can happen … I turn into someone I don’t know for a while.)

Gigs After Gas is a useful tool, and all travelers should check it out. I’ll put a link up on a sidebar so it’ll be easy to find when this blog entry scrolls out of sight. The super deluxe calculator is here. And it’s all free!

Thanks, Drew!

21. April 2008 · Comments Off on Music Dreams · Categories: Ramble

I think all of us have them if we’ve spent a good amount of time in music. Today’s was just plain odd. It wasn’t even about me. Oh how wrong!

I can’t remember much of it, as usual, but we were rehearsing in what appeared to be a rehearsal room at a college. At one point a guy walked over to some girl (yes, I use guys and girls … sorry if that offends some of you, but I call myself a girl so there you go) and lays into her, saying he’s tired of how mean she’s been to him and what an awful person she is. She, with a shocked look on her face, apologizes in front of everyone in a sincere way, and even admits that she has sometimes been unkind. (Way to go! That really puts the people on your side.) She cries. Her sister cries. So some other guy says, “C’mon, let’s go.” He takes her to a different room. Next thing I know, I’m in a different room listening to them recording her. Her first take was way over the top, so the guy suggests she uses the anger she’s feeling to make ti let weepy and more powerful. And then she plays fabulously. (Truth be told, I can’t remember now if she played oboe or clarinet. Now THAT is scary!)

Hmmm. What was THAT about? (The dream, I mean.)

There was also a section where we all had to do our own setup and search for chairs. (I really despise gigs where we become our own stage managers.)

Anyway, I just wonder where my head came up with the idea to use the anger to overcome the overly sappy expression.

Dreams are what I get for sleeping in until 7:15. If I wake up at 7:00 I’m usually not dealing with my more emotional, over the top dreams.

21. April 2008 · Comments Off on Always Good To Remember · Categories: Ramble

Sometimes I am in the pit and I have what I think is an important entrance. I get rather apprehensive. It think everyone is listening to just me.

Reality check time.

I just watched and listened to one of my favorite moments in Magic Flute, Pamina’s aria, “Ach, ich fühl’s” (Malin Hartelius). I always love the oboe entrance in the fifth measure. It just feels magical, taking it from the bassoon (although I apologize, DK, if I was too strong today!). And I love the bassoon entrance a measure before and the flute the bar after me. They seem of utmost importance to me. They are certainly fun to hear from where I am sitting.

But … well … listen to this youtube video! So much for my ever-so-important part eh? Now I’m feeling quite insignificant!

There are certainly a lot of videos of this particular aria available. Here are just a few more:

Kathleen Battle
Lucia Popp
Genia Kühmeier
Faith Esham
Dorothea Röschmann
Otilla Ipek Slowest tempo I’ve heard. Waaaaayyyyy slooowwwwww.
Juliane Banse One speedy tempo!
Judith Halász Completley sinful: clarinet has replaced oboe! Ack! How can anyone do that?

It’s really something to hear the different voices and different approaches to the work. I want the slower (but not slowest) tempo, with the voice lighter and less “present”, if you know what I mean.

I even want that if you don’t know what I mean.

I won’t comment on which of these I love and which I don’t, nor will I go into the intonation issues that appear. You can figure it out for yourself. :-)