02. July 2008 · 3 comments · Categories: Ramble

SongMonk asks, “What’s a video game concert?”

Good question. I forget that not everyone has seen and heard these.

We play video game music. Videos are shown. Lots of younger people come. In costume.

I’ve participated in Dear Friends and Play!. Some of my colleagues also played in this Video Games Live.

The only time I’ve heard and seen a livelier audience was when playing, eons ago, at the Oakland Coliseum for Pavarotti. That was the first time I understood what “roar of the crowd” could mean. It was deafening. Video game concerts run a close second (especially Dear Friends).

Video game concerts are a kick to play and, believe me, the audience knows their music. I’m not going to go into what I like and dislike about them; I received a reprimand about my comments some time ago and I’m not up for another. The audience loves them, so we’ll leave it there, as a happy audience is a good thing. Right?

I don’t play video games at all. I don’t get them, to be honest. But I’m 51. And an oboe player. So what do you expect? ;-)

02. July 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Links, Ramble

There’s a link from Arts Journal to the article by David Bratman over at San Francisco Classical Voice. And it’s about Symphony Silicon Valley. It’s not a “they are perfect” article (but then we aren’t perfect, so that’s no surprise), and it doesn’t include anything about a wacky blogger who whines about her reeds, but it’s a good read. Which is not quite so good as a good reed, but it’ll do for the summer, since I’m entirely unemployed when it comes to playing. (Oh and we actually are doing another video game concert on August 23 — my first job back — actually), and it will be my third — for some — the 4th) as we have done others. Just an FYI. :-)

Meanwhile, I sit here pondering what to do and how to deal with a summer of no music, aside from private students, many of whom are canceling out on me much of the time. What is it with these kiddos … do they think they are allowed to have vacations? Can you imagine? I did suggest that the family going to Greece really needed an oboe teacher with them. I also suggested to one student that she needed oboe lessons while on her trip to Europe. I am having trouble understanding why no one agreed with me.

But things to do … things to do …

Oh. Yeah.

Yard. Work. Paint. Bedroom. Clean. Closets. And … drum roll. REEDS.

Yeah. I have plenty to do. I just don’t feel like doing any of these things. And shouldn’t I go with my feelings?

02. July 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Ramble

One of the most important factors to consider when buying an oboe is the material. Although wood is the customary material used for crafting oboes, there are now many plastic oboes that can equally produce a good sound. You may also look the pros and cons of each substance when choosing between wood and plastic. Although wooden oboes can produce good sound quality, you will have to spend ample time in caring for your instrument to make sure that it doesn’t break. However, wooden oboes will inevitable crack or become worn out after several years despite the care you devote to it. Wooden oboes may produce simple sounds, but they are more durable and can last for a longer period of time.

(Full article)

Things like this just bug me. I have a rather old wood Marigaux. It is not cracked. And don”t the last two sentences contradict each other? (I suspect the final sentence was supposed to read, “Plastic oboes …”. And “simple sounds”?? Huh?

In any case, talk to an oboe player about oboes. Talk to your instructor. You can’t believe everything you read online. Heck, you might not even want to believe me. :-)