14. September 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Quotes

The thing that separates the oboe from most other instruments, in my mind, is that the oboe is not our ally. Playing this instrument is really “us vs. the oboe,” or “us vs. the reed,” struggling to let out what we have inside us despite the oboe’s pathological need to betray us. Keeping it from doing the crazy things it wants to do with accents, phrases, notes that don’t come out…. When it works, it is GOOD … but it is the most frustrating, humiliating instrument sometimes. That doesn’t mean we don’t keep trying. Everyone has had times when things just aren’t working. I’ve lost work because of a few sour notes at a performance, and the contractor took me off of their phone list. I’ve tried to play something that shouldn’t be that hard, and heard nothing but air come out the other end. But we keep at it, because when it works it’s really satisfying, and there’s nothing on earth like it.

-Michael

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