18. July 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Quotes · Tags:

I’ve played a lot of musical instruments. I’ve played the guitar and I played the bassoon in high school, but this was the first time I’ve played the drums.

-Rainn Wilson

As my son Jameson just said, though, we’re really seeing Dwight (Rainn Wilson’s character on The Office) as a bassoonist. 😉

18. July 2008 · Comments Off on Oboe: It’s What You Want It To Be · Categories: Links, Oboe, Ramble

(You might have to look around on these pages to find the oboe.)

18. July 2008 · Comments Off on Who Needs Money Anyway? · Categories: Ramble

Musicians in the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra have signed individual contracts for about a quarter of what full-time players had been receiving after the union had rejected the symphony’s final offer.

The musicians have signed individual contracts for a minimum of $3,123 rather than the $12,693 salary that the 24 musicians were getting.


Shreveport Symphony Orchestrahas a lot of things for us to read at their site … my guess is it’s to convince people that they have to reduce pay for the orchestra members. I don’t see their upcoming schedule, so I’m curious about the salary reduction; have they cut a corresponding number of services (rehearsals or performances) to go along with the huge pay cut. According to the “about the orchestra” page:

Presenting more than 200 concerts each season, over half of which are free educational events, the orchestra presents live symphonic music performed with excellence thereby fulfilling its mission“…to enhance the cultural life of the communities it serves by providing high-quality artistic performances and diverse educational opportunities.”

I can’t imagine these players are doing 200 concerts any more. If they ever did. Last year they did eight concerts on their “Master Series” and three special events. Not a lot of work. I wonder if they do more?

Side Note: They list four oboists. in their orchestra. That’s a large oboe section for such a part time group. Wow. (There are only two of us in SSV.)

18. July 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

Ever play that game? Someone plays a few notes of a tune and you try to name it. It’s a little more difficult with some of the music I play … but of course if we play four notes of a particular famous symphony you’ll get it, piece ‘o cake. (Maybe even with fewer of those notes, eh?) If there’s singing it might be easy as well, yes? (If you heard the first three (two?) notes of Carmen singing this wouldn’t you know what it was?)

Someone tested a few apps that kind of play the “name that tune” game.

What these services haven’t been able to do, however, is to analyze classical music. I’ve tried a few times. Shazam says the Beethoven Fifth Symhony is “unrecognized.” What would Ludwig say? After humming the piece into Midomi, I got the strangest country folk song in response. This isn’t surprising. There are very long phrases in classical music and it makes even die-hard fans puzzle as to “what was that piece?” Having these services decipher classical music presents a lot of challenges. First, recordings of pieces are almost nearly indistinguishable especially if you only had a 12-second sample of them. Also, unlike pop music, where there is one artist performing one song (sure there are cover versions), with classical you have hundreds of ensembles, conductors and performers spanning 50 years of audio recording doing the same ‘song’ over and over again. For example, there are more than 200 recordings of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony alone!

I sometimes play this game when I turn on the radio. Trouble with me is, I can sing through an entire symphony (or at least sing the oboe part) and I still might not remember what the work is.

Is that pathetic? Sigh.

18. July 2008 · Comments Off on ASIMO · Categories: Links, Other People's Words, Ramble, Videos, Watch

“This is not a communication device. It is simply programmed to make gestures,” says Leonard Slatkin, director of the orchestra. “If the musicians decide to go faster, there is nothing that the robot can do against that. Fortunately, I can keep my place!”

(Read here.)

I had avoided writing about this conducting robot. But oh well. Now I’ve gone and done it. Too bad, eh?

But really … I guess we could really do the robot in by rushing. We could leave the poor guy in the dust.

Truly an emotional performance, don’t you think? I mean … the expression on the maestro’s face really choked me up. 😉

I do think, though, that ASIMO should have gone with formal wear.

Okay, sarcasm and wit aside, ASIMO reasons to use a robot than a live conductor.

Tee hee. Aren’t I punny?