Or “Just shoot me.”

The oboe I thought was fixed. You know the one, right? Well, it’s not. But I didn’t find out until … well … never mind.

It has to go to the doctor. Now. I hope it can go to the Napa Doctor. I’ll have to call Monday and see. And the other oboe, while not the one I wanted to play, was put to use very near the beginning of the first act. After a very unfortunate incident. But hey, I didn’t even know the soprano sang until the oboe malfunctioned. With silence. So how ’bout that?!

But you know an oboe is in very bad trouble when an oboe middle C doesn’t even come out. At all. Nada. And only when you finally get to notes using the bottom octave key does something sound. Which tells me it’s something at the very top of the top joint.

It worked fine all day at home. It worked fine in the pit while I warmed up. And it worked fine through part of the national anthem. Then I wondered, “Is it feeling funny again?” But I thought it was only nerves talking.

Rats. It wasn’t.

But that’s life. It wasn’t something that would cause me to be upset with myself. That happens when I play wrong notes, have wrong entrances, or do other stupid things. But when it’s completely out of my control, I just get frustrated and scared and then I just deal. Which I did.

I do think the temperature change and the breeze running through the pit has something to do with my problems, but I also think my oboe shouldn’t react in such a major way.

I am very, very tired. And I come home to an empty house so there’s not even someone here to commiserate with me. Which makes me sadder. And I really want to enjoy the opera. I love the music and I love the oboe part. This is the most frustrating time I’ve ever had.

Tomorrow morning I get the joy of working on reeds to fit what I will now call my “rescue oboe”, since the reeds I have are always built for the other, what I now will call “pesky oboe”.


06. September 2008 · Comments Off on The Finger Is Dandy · Categories: Oboe

My finger is going to be fine, from all I can tell. The cut is lower than the last time. Whew. Working on reeds doesn’t really work well unless I put a bandaid back on. Hmmm. I suppose that means I just shouldn’t make reeds … right? ;-)

The oboe, on the other hand, is still questionable. I thought I’d gotten it down. I’ve done the necessary work on the lower joint, which is where the problem was in that area. It was the balancing between the C key and whatever it is that causes you to be able to play the left D#/C# combo and get the C# with no change in sound (if that makes sense). I also adjusted the F resonance key. Then I pull it out later and the G# arm is again out of adjustment. HOW can that happen?!

Fixed. Again.

But I’m not entirely convinced it’s perfect, and I guess I’ll only know for sure when I’m under the gun. There’s something about playing when not under pressure … I can “make it work” (Thank you Mr. Gunn) or “make it so” (Ditto, Captain Picard). But come stress. Come pressure. Come the most important moment, and that’s when the instrument will show its true face.

I do hope it’s a good face. A happy face. A brave face. A pretty face. Something like that. So I don’t lose face.

06. September 2008 · Comments Off on And For Your Amusement · Categories: Links, Oboe, Ramble, Videos, Watch

Well, it looks like it would be kind of fun. But ….

In any case, as i watched this I pondered: what if a bunch of 50 year olds put something like this together? And then I thought, what if a bunch of 50 year olds started a rock band? I know there are old rockers, but they began when they were younger. Could a bunch of over-the-hillers begin a rock band and still succeed, or does it require youth to begin, with longevity being a possibility but certainly not a guarantee?

Yeah, I’m just wasting time as I sit here drinking my latté and watching the tennis open. Because I don’t want to try using my half-hole finger (this is the left index finger to you non-oboe readers). I teach at 11:15, and so when I warm up prior to that lesson I’ll find out if I have to use some kind of super glue on this finger or not. (Using that stuff really stings horribly, so if I can avoid it I will, but it might be the only way I can play. We’ll see.)

06. September 2008 · Comments Off on Peter Cooper – Short Video · Categories: Oboe, Videos, Watch

I just found this:

I’ve never heard Peter Cooper live, but I’m always impressed with his lovely playing.

06. September 2008 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Opera, Quotes

The greatest dramatist is the composer. That cannot be said too often: The key to understanding opera is to be found in the music.

-James Conlon