26. February 2010 · Comments Off on oboeinsight Music · Categories: Links

I just played my website.

Nary an oboe to be heard. And I guess I have a very, very boring website.

26. February 2010 · Comments Off on No Oboe, But Still … · Categories: Videos

I love the Telemann Canonic Sonatas, and not being able to find a video with oboes I’m putting this up instead. The oboe duo I’m coaching will be playing this, or at least part of it (might have to cut it down due to time issues), along with Sibicky’s Four Figment Fragments, 7:00 on March 11 at the UCSC recital hall. (Admission is free!)

I love Telemann. I find that his music fits well with my fingers. Handel, not so much. So give me Telemann!

The following isn’t the first canonic sonata, which my students are playing, but the second … but still, you get double reeds on this one:

And here’s the Sibicky (I know, I know, I’ve put it up twice before. But hey, it’s a fun work!):

Four Figment Fragments (for two oboes)
Uploaded by nicksib.

… and it’s now 10:08 and I’ve yet to brave standing … or eating! Guess I’d better see how I’m doing.

26. February 2010 · Comments Off on Update · Categories: Ramble

I slept in until 8:15! The medication I took for dizziness probably helped. (I looked up the pill and it’s merely an antihistamine from what I can tell … those DO knock me out!) This morning feels better, but not perfect. I’m a wee bit dizzy. Enough so that I’ll be taking it very easy. (More importantly at the moment: why is an ant crawling on my computer. Ack!)

I will probably stay in robe and pjs only to make sure I don’t suddenly decide I’m 100% and go do something stupid. (Yes, I can be that way.)

What a crazy time! Initially I wasn’t thrilled to only have three rehearsals for Romeo and Juliet, and now I only have two. At the first rehearsal we didn’t get through the entire ballet, so tonight, the final rehearsal, will be the only time I get to play certain portions of the work. Ah well. We’ve done it a few times before, and I do know the work.

Now I’ll see if this stomach can handle anything.

26. February 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

I’ll rock it out on stage, well as much as one can rock the oboe

This morning I told Dan I felt a bit odd. I didn’t really do much this morning, and my main chore, I knew, was to work on English horn reeds. I finally managed to get myself to wind some and start working in the early afternoon (my middle name is procrastination). Then it was on to four students.

Teaching went fine. I love my students; each one is so unique and I really find joy in teaching them. I felt pretty good, and the final one is a very fin English horn student so I was able to play a bit of English horn with him and I was feeling a bit better about the reed situation. After teaching I had about 45 minutes for dinner and then I was to race off to rehearsal.

But not so fast. Standing up, things were spinning.

Dan had prepared dinner for us, and as I was putting together my plate I told him I was sure dizzy, and my ear was screaming, as it sort of had been doing all day. He suggested that maybe I wanted to forgo the tasty food I was dishing up and it hit me that he was quite right. He made an English muffin for me instead. I managed to get a bit down when I realized that wasn’t even a good idea. I thought it would be best to have him drive me to work, per his suggestion, and then I realized I wasn’t going to be able to go to work. Also per Dan’s suggestion. So I called in sick and went to bed.

It’s three hours later, and I’m awake and able to use the computer. I believe this means that this was caught in time, and that I’ll recover quicker than I did last time.

I’m really bummed to miss the second rehearsal. I’m really bummed to only have the dress rehearsal before opening. I’m especially bummed that my ear is still unhappy. But I’m very thankful that I am feeling a wee bit better, and that I do think I’ll be able to play the run of Romeo and Juliet. I do wonder if the fluorescent lights in the rehearsal hall can trigger this. I know they can cause issues for some people. I’ll have to read up on this.

Meanwhile, back to resting for me.

Oh … and I’m really bummed that I missed that great dinner tonight. 🙁

I thought for sure some readers would respond to my blog entry about our brains not being able to handle contemporary music. But there was silence.

Maybe your brains couldn’t handle the blog entry?!

I thought for sure someone who loves contemporary classical music (please don’t lecture me about “classical” being a period; we use it generally and I’ve caved on that one since “art music” sounds hoity toity) would bash the news. But nope. Didn’t happen.

Sometimes I put things up without giving my opinion because I am hoping to strike up a conversation or I just want to get you all riled up. Didn’t work!

BUT … now I read this:

So the modern music they’re talking about was written by a composer who died in 1951 — 59 years ago. To put that into perspective, it’s like saying people today can’t handle hip-hop because Fats Domino is too outré. Or that Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” (1959) made jazz incomprehensible for 2010 audiences. Or people won’t go to movies because Fellini ruined everything.

A lot has happened in the past half century. But you wouldn’t know it by this article.

I read it here. Be sure to listen to the samples.

25. February 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

On now: Heinz Holliger – Baroque at Bathtime – 15 – Oboe Concerto in C – 3 Siciliana

25. February 2010 · Comments Off on Huh? · Categories: Ramble

I just received an email via my UCSC address that begins with this:

Don’t Let Your Students Struggle with Early Transcendentals!

Anyone who knows me knows I’ll look at that and say, “Huh?” while scratching my head. I only knew what it was about when I continued on and read the scary word, “calculus”.

Math and I don’t really get along.

“They” (whoever they are) say that musicians are good at math. Well sure, I can add and divide and do my fractions if they’re simple (I can cook, too), but if they think I know anything about more tough stuff they are quite wrong.

At some point while teaching I like to ask my students what subjects they like best in school. The majority do say math or science. The majority tell me they don’t like English (or Language Arts or whatever it’s called in their neck ‘o the SchoolWoods) much at all. I’m always a bit surprised, because I tend to box people up in nice packages and I assume that oboe students will be more like yours truly. I loved English. I hated Math. I didn’t “get” chemistry at all. Of course I also didn’t really study; if it didn’t come easily, I wasn’t about to put too much effort in … I suspect that was about fear of failure. It’s one thing to fail when you don’t try. It’s another to fail when you do.

This is something I can apply to music too, of course. Sometimes I don’t tackle something because I really do fear that failure. What if I never get it? Ack! But of course there’s that old, “You never know unless you try!” thing … I do try to remember that.

Sometimes I can see that “fear of failure” thing on a student’s face. I talk to them about that. And about never saying, “I can’t do this!” before playing something. Watching the Olympics I can see a similar look sometimes on the athletes’ faces. I think that if you go into something with an “I’m gonna blow it” attitude it usually predicts the performance. Of course there are those surprise moments when someone nails it even so, but for the most part what we tell ourselves does tend to influence how we do.

Ahh, skating. We musicians relate, I think, because it’s the “one chance” thing. We get no do-overs. They get no do-overs. Thankfully we have a smaller audience. And we don’t have to sit in the “kiss and cry” area with a camera watching us as we hear our scores. Whew!

Ramble ramble … this is a rather discombobulated post. But it does allow me to use the word dicombobulated and that counts for something. I hope.

Speaking of fear of failure, I really must do English horn reed work today. No choice in the matter. And failure simply isn’t an option.

24. February 2010 · Comments Off on Advantages/Disadvantages · Categories: Ballet, Ramble
  • I love my job
  • My job sometimes interferes with family life
  • I love Prokofiev!
  • Rehearsal conflicted with a birthday party
  • Romeo & Juliet!
  • A bagel for dinner while the birthday party people were having Thai food
  • I got home sort of late
  • It was a lot earlier than after Figaro … AND leftover Thai food was waiting!

That’s my life. And of course there are more advantages and disadvantages. Just like any job, yes? But the thing is, I adore my job, I get to play incredible music with my friends (who are wonderful musicians). I feel as if I’ve really accomplished something after rehearsals, and I feel as if I have enriched listeners’ lives after concerts (and of course I continue to feel as if I accomplished something!).

Meanwhile … the first rehearsal for Romeo and Juliet is over and out. When I got to the (not very well lit) rehearsal hall at the Center for the Performing Arts I realized I had forgotten my music reading glasses. Sigh. So the stand had to be as low as possible. I was also reminded (the minute we all started to play) that the rehearsal hall is just a crummy place to play, and there’s no way I can have any idea how my reeds will work once we get into the pit, so that will have to wait until Friday’s dress.

Whine whine whine.

BUT … this is Prokofiev, folks! This is great music!

24. February 2010 · Comments Off on R&J … More · Categories: Ballet, Videos

“In 1986, I choreographed ‘Romeo and Juliet’ for company ballerina Karen Gabay in the title role of Juliet,” said Dennis Nahat, the artistic director and choreographer for Ballet San Jose, who also plays the role of Friar Laurence.

Gabay will appear once again in the title role with principal dancer Maykel Solas, who made his company debut as Romeo in the Ballet San Jose 2006 production.

“When it was originally choreographed on me, I was in my 20s.” Gabay said. “Now I’m in my ’40s.’ You take on a different perspective and approach, emotionally.”

Karen Gabay might be in her 40s, but she still looks like she’s in her 20s, and when she dances she can appear even younger. I’m looking forward to seeing her dance this again! If I’m seated where I usually am, I’ll have a great view!


Here you can see Karen Gabay dance, including a snippet from R&J:

I love the “nobody bothered me” line … I’m a rather extreme introvert (contrary to what some folks think; just because I bare it all here online, and can play oboe & English horn and oboe in front of a crowd of people doesn’t mean I’m an extrovert. Trust me!). Playing an instrument works so well for me. I just do my job. And I LOVE my job. I sit with a crowd of people, but we are mostly playing music together. And if I choose to isolate myself during breaks (I frequently do that), no one seems to be annoyed by it.

Anyway, check out the video. And do check out Ballet San Jose’s Romeo and Juliet. (Karen is dancing the first and final performances.)